Think Aboutit – UFOs

Searching for the TRUTH on UFOs



Dr. Baker represented the United States Air Force at the International Astronautical Federation meeting in Stockholm, Sweden in 1961, represented the United States at the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics European Conferences in 1962 and in 1965 and was an invitee to the Astronomical Councile [sic] of the Academy of Sciences of USSR in Moscow in 1967. He was voted an Outstanding Young Man of the Year by the Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1965. From 1963 to 1964 he was the National Chairman of the Astrodynamics Technical Committee of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and is currently a member of Computer Sciences Technical Committee. Dr. Baker has been the Editor of the Journal of the Astronautical Sciences since 1968. He was the joint editor of the Proceedings of the 1961 International Astronautical Federation Congress and the senior author of the first textbook on astrodynamics: An Introduction to Astrodynamics published in 1960. Dr. Baker is the author of four books and over 70 technical papers (see Appendix 2). Dr. Baker’s professional society memberships include the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, Sigma Pi Sigma, American Astronautical Society (Fellow), British Interplanetary Society (Fellow), American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (Associate Fellow and member of the Computer Sciences Technical Committee), British Astronomical Society (Fellow), American Astronomical Society, American Physical Society, and Meteoritical Society. His active security clearance is top secret.


Dr. Baker. Fine, thank you, Mr. Roush. I should like to preface my remarks by stating my preference for the term “anomalistic observational phenomena,” as opposed to the term “unidentified flying objects.” Mr. Roush. I observed you were going to say that and I wonder about some of my Hoosiers back home using those terms. Dr. Baker. It comes trippingly off the tongue. Mr. Roush. It might not only cause some Hoosiers but some laymen some problems. It might be easier to say UFO’s. You may go ahead. Dr. Baker. I call it AOP. From the data that I have reviewed and analyzed since 1954, it is my belief that there does exist substantial evidence to support the claim that an unexplained phenomenon — or phenomena — is present in the environs of the earth, but that it may not be “flying,” may not always be “unidentified,” and, perhaps, may not even be substantive “objects.” In the following statement I will — (1) Present a summary of the analyses that I have accomplished to date — those that have led me to believe that anomalistic phenomena exist; (2) Explain the probable inadequacy of our current terrestrial sensors in observing and/or defining the characteristics of the anomalistic phenomena; (3) Suggest a number of tentative hypothetical sources for the phenomena, and the justification for their scientific study; (4) And, finally, I will make specific recommendations concerning the necessity for new types of closely related observational and study programs which might be implemented in a fashion that would permit the detection and quantitative analysis of the anomalistic phenomena.


Several appendices accompany this report. The first two are in response to Congressman Roush’s invitational letter of July 10, 1968, and consist of my biographical sketch and a listing of my bibliography, respectively. The third appendix relates directly to my specific recommendations, and was included with the kind permission of Dr. Sydney Walker III. The fourth appendix presents three reprints of articles (Baker (1968a) and (1968b) and Walker (1968)) that are pertinent to the subject matter of this report.



My initial contact with anomalistic observational phenomena — AOP — came in 1954 when I was a consultant to Douglas Aircraft Co. in Santa Monica, Calif., serving as special assistant to Dr. W. B. Klemperer, director of Douglas’ research staff. The data consisted of two short film clips: one taken in Montana — termed by us as the Montana film — and one taken in Utah — called by us the Utah film. These films were provided to us by the Air Technical Intelligence Center — ATIC, now the Foreign Technology Division — FTD — at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base; 35-millimeter prints were furnished by Green-Rouse Productions of Samuel Goldwyn Studios. Both films had been taken by apparently reliable and unbiased men using amateur movie cameras and, in each case, there was a credible, substantiating witness present. The films exhibited the motion of rather fuzzy white dots, but the Montana film was remarkable in that foreground was visible on most of the frames. Preliminary analysis excluded most natural phenomena. More detailed study indicated that the only remaining natural phenomenon candidate for the Utah film was birds in flight, and for the Montana film it was airplane fuselage reflections of the sun. After about 18 months of rather detailed, albeit not continuous, study using various film-measuring equipments [sic] at Douglas and at UCLA, as well as analysis of a photogrammetric experiment, it appeared that neither of these hypothesized natural phenomena explanations had merit, and a report was published by me (Baker (1956)) and forwarded to Brig. Gen. Harold E. Watson, commander, ATIC. Since the description of the circumstances of the filmings and the analyses of the data provided on the films is rather lengthy, and have since been published in the open literature,1 it does not seem unreasonable to repeat the analyses here. [NCAS Editor’s note: This last sentence appears to be a mis-transcription; the two analyses were not presented in Dr. Baker’s statement.]


During the course of this study we also had the opportunity to view some gun-camera photographs taken over Florida. Unfortunately, we could not retain this film, and did not have time available to accomplish a comprehensive analysis. Like the Montana and Utah films, this film also exhibited only white-dot images; however, since a foreground was present, a competent study could have been carried out. Dr. Klemperer and I agreed on the preliminary conclusion — not supported by detailed analyses — that, again, no natural phenomenon was a likely source for the images. 1For the Utah film, see Baker and Makemson (1967): for the Montana film, see Baker (1968a). This latter reference is included in app. 4 to this paper.



In June of 1963 I received a movie film clip from a Mr. Richard Hall that had purportedly been taken from an aircraft (DC-3) near Angel Falls, Venezuela, at about 12:15 p.m. This film clip was 8-millimeter color film, exposed at 16 frames per second and showed a very bright yellow, slightly pear-shaped object that disappeared in a cloud bank after about 60 or 70 frames. At the time I was the head of the Lockheed Aircraft Co.’s Astrodynamics Research Center. We had developed a small group of photogrammetrists consisting of Dr. P. M. Merifeld and Mr. James Rammelkamp, and were able to undertake a study of the film. Initially, Merifeld and Rammelkamp found little of interest on the film. After their preliminary examination, I expended considerable effort in further analysis. Again, I was only able to draw the conclusion that the yellow object was no known natural phenomenon; but [before] we could make a quantitative determination of angular rates and accelerations, and the bounds of distance, linear velocity, and acceleration, the film was lost (except for a microphotograph exhibiting the object on one frame). There was, however, no question in my mind as to the anomalistic character of the images.


In January 1964, Mr. Zan Overall showed me three cinetheodolite films which had been taken simultaneously by three different cameras of a Thor-Able Star launching at Vandenberg AFB (project A4/01019). These films depicted a white object moving vertically (relative to the film frame) against a clear, blue-sky background. The object was about as bright as the booster’s second-stage exhaust, and passed the booster at about one-third degree per second. Rough estimates of the direction of the Sun — based on shadows on early frames — and the winds aloft — indicated by the motion of the rocket’s exhaust plume) — were made. These, together with the brightness of the object and its rate of ascent, seemed to rule out balloons, airplanes, lens flare, mirages, et cetera. Since one of the cinetheodolites was at a site some distance from the other two, a parallax determination of the actual distance and speed of the object could be determined rather easily. Because the films were on loan from the Navy, I was unable to carry out the necessary study and a determination of the precise character of the phenomenon (natural or anomalistic) could not be made. In 1967, I discussed the matter with Prof. William K. Hartmann of the University of Arizona, and Prof. Roy Craig of the University of Colorado. At that time, they were involved in the Colorado UFO Study Group, and indicated that they would attempt to obtain the film for further analysis. Although I am confident that they made a conscientious effort to obtain the films, apparently they were unsuccessful (as of 6 months ago, at least).


In addition to the foregoing film clips — which seemed to involve data that were the result of anomalistic phenomena — the Montana film in my opinion, certainly was anomalistic and all of the other


films except for the California film, most probably were anomalistic — I have also had the opportunity to view approximately a half dozen other films, purportedly of “UFO’s.” The images on these films appeared possibly to be the result of natural phenomena, such as reflections on airplanes, atmospheric mirages, optical flares, birds, balloons, insects, satellites, et cetera. For example, a recent (February 1968) set of two films were taken, using professional motion picture equipment, by a Universal Studio crew on location. Although rather peculiar in appearance, the objects thus photographed could have conceivably been the result of airplane reflections. To this date my analyses of anomalistic motion picture data have been rather ungratifying. Although I am convinced that many of the films indeed demonstrated the presence of anomalistic phenomena, they all have the characteristic or rather ill-defined blobs of light, and one can actually gain little insight into the real character of the phenomena. For example, linear distance, speed, and acceleration cannot be determined precisely, nor can size and mass. As I will discuss in a moment, this situation is not particularly surprising, since, without a special-purpose sensor system expressly designed to obtain information pertinent to anomalistic observational phenomena, or a general-purpose sensor system operated so as not to disregard such data, the chance for obtaining high-quality hard data is quite small.


The capabilities of astronomical optical sensors have been dealt with in a thorough fashion by Page in 1968. The Prairie Network for Meteor Observations (McCrosky and Posen (1968) ) is a good example of a wide-coverage optical system, but as is so often the case, and as Page (1968) pointed out. “*** K E. McCrosky of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory informed me that no thorough search (for anomalistic data) has been carried out.” Even so, some astronomical photographs are bound to exhibit anomalistic data. Again quoting from Page (1968), “*** W. T. Powers of Northwestern University Astronomy Department informed me that ‘several’ of the Smithsonian-net photographs show anomalous trails.” As I have already pointed out (Baker (1968b) to be found in appendix 4), the majority of our astronomical equipment (e.g., conventional photographic telescopes, Baker-Nunn cameras, meteor cameras, Markowitz Dual-Rate Moon Cameras, et cetera) are special purpose in nature, and would probably not detect the anomalous luminous phenomena reported by the casual observer if they were indeed present. Their photographic speed, field of view, et cetera, impose severe restrictions on their ability to collect data on objects other than those they have been specifically designed to detect As already noted in the quotes from Page (1968), even if such data were collected, the recognition of their uniqueness or anomalous character by an experimenter is improbable. Examples abound, in the history of celestial mechanics, of minor planets being detected on old astronomical plates that had been measured for other purposes, and then abandoned. Our radar and optical space surveillance and tracking systems are even more restrictive and thus, even less likely to provide information on anomalistic phenomena than are astronomical sensors. The Signal Test Processing Facility (STPF) radar at Floyd, N.Y. is a high-performance


performance experimental radar having a one-third degree beam width. For lockon and track, an object would have to be pinpointed to one-sixth degree, and even if the radar did achieve lockon, an erratically moving object could not be followed even in the STPF radar’s monopulse mode of operation. For this reason only satellites having rather well-defined paths (i.e., ephemerides), which have been precomputed, can be acquired and tracked. Our three BMEWS radars propagate fans of electromagnetic energy into space. If a ballistic missile or satellite penetrates two of these fans successively, then it can be identified. Since astrodynamical laws govern the time interval between detection fan penetrations for “normal” space objects, all other anomalistic “hits” by the radar are usually neglected, and even if they are not neglected, they are usually classified as spurious images or misassociated targets, and are stored away on magnetic tape, and forgotten. One space surveillance site operates a detection radar (FPS-17) and a tracking radar (FPS-79). If a new space object is sensed by the detection radar’s fans, then the tracking radar can be oriented to achieve lockon. The orientation is governed by a knowledge of the appropriate “normal” object’s astrodynamic laws of motion, or by an assumption as to launch point. Thus, if an unknown is detected, and if it follows an unusual path, it is unlikely that it could, or would, be tracked. Furthermore, the director of the radar may make a decision that the unknown object detected is not of interest (because of the location of the FPS-17 fan penetration or because of the lack of prior information on a possible new launch). In the absence of detection fan penetration (the fan has a rather limited coverage), the FPS-79 tracking radar is tasked to follow other space objects on a schedule provided by the Space Defense Center, and again there is almost no likelihood that an anomalistic object could, or would, be tracked. The NASA radars, such as those at Millstone and Goldstone, are not intended to be surveillance radars, and only track known space objects on command. Again the chances of their tracking anomalistic objects are nearly nil. The new phased-array radar at Eglin AFB (FPS-85) has considerable capability for deploying detection fans and tracking space objects in a simultaneous fashion. Such versatility raises certain energy-management problems — that is, determining how much energy to allocate to detection and how much to tracking — but this sensor might have a capability (albeit, perhaps, limited) to detect and track anomalistic objects. The problem is that the logic included in the software associated with the FPS-85’s control computers is not organized in a fashion to detect and track anomalistic objects (I will indicate in a moment how the logic could be modified). Furthermore, the FPS-85, like the other surveillance radars is usually tasked to track a list of catalogued space objects in the Space Defense Center’s data base and the opportunity to “look around” for anomalistic objects is quite limited. There are a number of other radar surveillance systems such as a detection fence across the United States. In the case of this fence, we have a situation similar to BMEWS, in which the time interval between successive penetrations (in this case separated by an orbital period for satellites) must follow prescribed astrodynamical laws. If they do not, then the fence penetrations are either deleted from


the data base or classified as “unknowns” or “uncorrelated targets,” filed, and forgotten. There is only one surveillance system, known to me, that exhibits sufficient and continuous coverage to have even a slight opportunity of betraying the presence of anomalistic phenomena operating above the Earth’s atmosphere. The system is partially classified and, hence, I cannot go into great detail at an unclassified meeting. I can, however, state that yesterday (July 28, 1968) I traveled to Colorado Springs (location of the Air Defense Command) and confirmed that since this particular sensor system has been in operation, there have been a number of anomalistic alarms. Alarms that, as of this date, have not been explained on the basis of natural phenomena interference, equipment malfunction or inadequacy, or manmade space objects.


In Baker and Makemson (1967), I discussed the usual candidates for the natural sources of anomalistic observations. For example, some scanning radars — such as airport radars — pick up anomalistic returns termed “angels.” A variety of explanations have been proposed, variously involving ionized air inversion layers, etc. (see Tacker (1960) and even insects (see Glover, et al. (1966)). With respect to human observation of anomalistic luminous phenomena, some rather strong positions have been taken by such authorities as Menzel (1953), who feels that the predominant natural phenomenon is atmospheric mirages; by Klass (1958a), who feels that the predominant natural phenomenon is related to ball lightning triggered by high-tension line coronal discharge, jet aircraft, electrical storms, etc.; by Robey (1960), who feels that the observations are of “cometoids” entering the earth’s atmosphere, etc. The list of hypothetical sources for anomalistic observational phenomena is long indeed, but from the photographic data that I have personally analyzed, I am convinced that none of these explanations is valid. The analyses that I have carried out to date have dealt with observational evidence that I term “hard data” — that is, permanent photographic data. Although I will not discuss in detail the analyses of eyewitness reports (which I term “soft data”),1 Powers (1967), McDonald (1967), Hynek (1966), and others have concluded that overwhelming evidence exists that a truly anomalistic phenomenon is present. Of course, there are numerous others who have come to a completely opposite conclusion; in fact, it becomes almost a matter of personal preference: it is possible for one to identify all of the anomalistic data as very unusual manifestations of natural phenomena. No matter how unlikely it is, anything is possible — even a jet plane reflecting the sun in direct opposition to the laws of optics. I’m sometimes reminded of the flat earth debates that I organized 10 years ago in my elementary astronomy courses at UCLA. Some students became so involved in justifying their positions– either flat or spherical — that they would grasp at even the most improbable argument in order to rationalize their stand. 1Except in app. 3 to this report — a paper supplied by Dr. Sydney Walker III, concerning a hypothetical case.


Mr. Roush. Dr. Baker, I’m sorry to interrupt, but I’m going to have a brief recess here. Dr. Baker. Certainly. Mr. Roush. There is a motion to recommit the military construction bill, and I would like to vote on it. None of my colleagues are here right now, so we will declare a very brief recess, and I shall return as quickly as I can. (Whereupon a short recess was taken for a floor vote.) Mr. Roush. The committee will be in order. Dr Baker, you may proceed. Dr. Baker. Thank you. Personally, I feel that it is premature for me to agree that the hard and soft data forces the scientific community to give overriding attention to the hypothesis that the anomalistic observations arise from manifestations of extraterrestrial beings. On the other hand, I strongly advocate the establishment of a research program in the area of anomalistic phenomena — an interdisciplinary research effort that progresses according to the highest scientific standards; that is well funded; and that is planned to be reliably long term. The potential benefit of such a research project to science should not hinge solely on the detection of intelligent extraterrestrial life; it should be justified by the possibility of gaining new insights into poorly understood phenomena, such as ball lightning, cometoid impact, and spiraling meteorite decay. There is practical value in such research for the Military Establishment, as well. Let us suppose that something similar to the “Tunguska event” of 1908 occurred today, and that it was Long Island in the United States, rather than the Podkamenaia Tunguska River Basin in Siberia that was devastated by a probable comet impact. Would we misinterpret this catastrophic event as the signal for world war III? What if another “fireball procession,” such as occurred over Canada on February 9, 1913, repeated itself today, and the low-flying meteors were on nearly polar orbits that would overfly the continental United States. Would we interpret the resulting surveillance data as indicating that a fractional orbital bombardment system (FOBS) had been initiated in Russia? My knowledge of our Air Force sensors, both current and projected (see Baker and Ford (1968)), indicates that they are sufficiently sophisticated so that they would probably not react prematurely and signal a false alarm — although a careful study of this point should be made. On the other hand, there may exist other anomalistic sources of data that might give rise to a false alarm and perhaps provoke us either to deploy our countermeasures, or even to counterattack. Before I enumerate the specific benefits this research might confer upon various scientific disciplines, allow me to digress briefly on the subject of soft data. The primary reason that I have avoided the introduction of soft data into my photographic studies and have not involved myself in the analysis of eyewitness reports (such as the excellent ones given by Fuller (1966)), is that I have been unable to develop a rational basis for determining the credibility level for any given human observer. Although they lie outside the field of my own scientific competence, I feel that credibility evaluations of witnesses


would form an important adjunct to any serious study of anomalistic phenomena (see Walker (1968) included in app. 4 of this report). The soft data must involve some useful information content, and it would be extremely unrealistic to neglect it entirely. For this reason, I have included appendix 3 by Dr. Walker, which presents a logical procedure for establishing a credibility level for observers. Walker’s report of a hypothetical case integrates the results of general medical, neuroopthalmologic, neurologic, and psychiatric evaluations, and develops a logical basis for assigning an overall credibility score. Dr. Robert L. Hall is, of course, eminently qualified to comment on the question of eyewitness testimony at this seminar. If serious studies can be initiated, with the objectives of detecting, analyzing, and identifying the sources of anomalistic observational phenomena, then I feel that the following scientific benefits can be expected: (1) Meteoritics. — Although there are a number of excellent meteor observation nets operating today, data collected on erratically moving phenomena (including rapid determination of the location of any “landings” or impacts) would add significantly to the coverage and analyses of meteorites and, possibly, entering comets. Furthermore, the timely recovery of meteoritic debris at the subend point of fireballs would be most valuable. (2) Geology. — It has been pointed out by Lamar and Baker (1965), that there exist residual effects on desert pavements that may have been produced by entering comets. Furthermore, any geological or material evidence of the impact or “landing” of extraterrestrial objects would be of great interest. As Dr. John O’Keefe (1967), Assistant Chief, Laboratory for Theoretical Studies of NASA GSFC indicated “Would it not be possible to get some scraps of these (“UFO”) objects for examination? For instance, a scrap of matter, however small, could be analyzed for the kind of alloys in terrestrial foundries. A piece of a screw, however small, would be either English, Metric, or Martian. I am impressed by this because I looked at some tens of thousands of pictures of the Moon and found that the very small amount of chemical data has more weight in interpreting the past history of the Moon than the very large amount of optical data. It doesn’t seem possible that objects (“flying saucers”) of this size can visit the Earth and then depart, leaving nothing, not even a speck, behind. We could analyze a speck no bigger than a pinhead very easily.” I concur with O’Keefe’s remarks, and if there exist “landings” associated with the anomalistic phenomena, then a prompt and extremely thorough investigation of the landing site must be accomplished before geological/material evidence is dispersed or terrestrialized. (3) Atmospheric physics. — One of the great mysteries today is the formation, movement, and explosion of ball lightning. As Singer (1968) noted: The specific properties of ball lightning, which present particular difficulty in experimental duplication, are formations of the sphere in air (at near-atmospheric pressure and at a distance from the source of energy) and its extensive motion. It is evident that additional clarification of both theoretical and experimental aspects is needed.


With respect to “plasma UFO’s” Mr. Philip J. Klass(1968b) comments that: If conditions — all of the conditions — needed to create plasma-UFO’s near high-tension lines or in the wake of jet aircraft occurred readily we should have millions of UFO reports and the mystery would have been solved long ago. But the comparative rarity of legitimate UFO sightings clearly indicates that the ball-lightning related phenomenon is a very rare one. Even if ball lightning is not the primary source of anomalistic data (and I am not at present convinced that it is), any program investigating anomalistic observational phenomena would surely shed significant light on the ball-lightning problem. (4) Astronomy. — I have already noted the possibility of cometary entry, a study of which would be valuable to the astronomer. If as some respected astronomers believe, the anomalistic observational phenomena (including perhaps, “intelligent” radio signals from interstellar space) are the results of an advanced extraterrestrial civilization, then the study of the phenomena would become a primary concern of the entire human race. The implications for astronomy are overwhelming. (5) Psychiatry and psychology. — Since bizarre events have been reported, the study of eyewitness credibility, under stressful circumstances of visual input, if possible. As I will recommend later: if a competent, mobile task force of professionals could be sent into action as soon as anomalistic events are detected, then reliable evaluation of eyewitness reports (soft data) in relation to the actual hard data obtained, could be accomplished. Even if the event was only a spectacular fireball, or marsh gas, the psychiatric/medical examination of eyewitnesses would still be more informative. (6) Social science. — Although not classified as a physical science, there appears to be a challenge here for the social sciences. It has been my contention throughout this report that it is not a prerequisite to the study of anomalistic observational phenomena to suppose that they result from extraterrestrial intelligence. Nevertheless, it still is an open possibility in my mind. It seems reasonable, therefore, to undertake a few contingency planning studies. In order to extract valuable information from an advanced society, it would seem useful to forecast the approximate characteristics of such a superior intelligence—or, if not necessarily superior, an intelligence displayed by an industrial, exploratory culture of substantially greater antiquity. There exist dozens of treatises on technological forecasting; one can key estimates of technological advancement to speed of travel, production of energy, productivity, ubiquity of communications, etc. There have been many debates on the technical capabilities or limits on the capabilities of advanced extraterrestrial societies (for example, see Markowitz (1967) and Rosa, et al. (1967). Often intermixed with these technological capabilities arguments, however, are very dubious comments concerning the psychological motivations, behavioral patterns, and unbased projections of the social motivations of an advanced society. Hypothetical questions are often raised such as, “*** if there are flying saucers around, why don’t they contact us directly? *** I would if I were investigating another civilization.” Such comments are made on extremely thin ice, for, to my knowledge, no concerted study has been carried out in the


area of forecasting the social characteristics of an advanced extraterrestrial civilization. Philosophers, social scientists, and others usually undertake studies of rather theoretical problems. (See Wooldridge (1968) and Minas and Ackoff (1964). If only a quantitative index or indices of social advancement could be developed that, say, would differentiate us from the Romans in our interpersonal and intersociety relationships (for example, tendencies toward fewer crimes of violence, fewer wars, etc.), then we might be better equipped to make rational extrapolations from our own to an advanced society. In fact, such as index, if it could be developed might even be beneficial in guiding our existing earth-based society. (7) Serendipity. — In addition to the value of anomalistic phenomena studies to these specific scientific disciplines, there is always serendipity. Any scientific study of this nature is potentially capable of giving substantial dividends in terms of “spin-off.” For example: in improved techniques in radar and optical sensor design and control; in giving a reliable quantitative credibility level to witness’ statements in court; or in deciphering and/or analyzing anomalistic radio signals from interstellar space.


For the past 16 years I have seriously (albeit sporadically) followed the analyses of “UFO” or “flying saucer” reports — both scientific and quasi-scientific. It is my conclusion that there is only so much quantitative data that we can squeeze out of vast amounts of data on anomalistic observational phenomena that has been collected to date. I believe that we will simply frustrate ourselves by endless arguments over past, incomplete data scenarios; what we need is more sophisticated analyses of fresh anomalistic observational data. We must come up with more than just a rehash of old data. I emphasize that it is very unlikely that existing optical and radar monitoring systems would collect the type of quantitative data that is required to identify and study the phenomena. Moreover, we currently have no quantitative basis upon which to evaluate and rank (according to credibility) the myriad of eyewitness reports. Thus continuing to “massage” past anomalistic events would seem to be a waste of our scientific resources. In balance, then, I conclude that: (1) We have not now, nor have we been in the past, able to achieve a complete — or even partially complete — surveillance of space in the vicinity of the earth, comprehensive enough to betray the presence of, or provide quantitative information on, anomalistic phenomena. (2) Hard data on anomalistic observational phenomena do, in fact exist, but they are of poor quality, because of the inadequacies of equipment employed in obtaining them. (3) Soft data on anomalistic phenomena also exist, but we have no quantitative procedure to evaluate their credibility and develop clear-cut conclusions on the characteristics of the anomalistic phenomena. (4) It follows from the scientific method that an experiment or experiments should be devised, and closely related study programs be initiated expressly to define the anomalistic data better.


 (5) In order to justify such an experiment and associated studies, it is not necessary to presuppose the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life operating in the environs of the earth, or to make dubious speculations either concerning “their” advanced scientific and engineering capabilities or “their” psychological motivations and behavioral patterns. In the light of these conclusions, I will make the following recommendations: (1) In order to obtain information-rich hard and soft data on anomalistic phenomena, an interdisciplinary, mobile task force or team of highly qualified scientists should be organized. This team should be established on a long-term basis, well funded, and equipped to swing into action and investigate reports on anomalistic phenomena immediately after such reports are received. Because of the relatively low frequency of substantive reports (see p. 1968), immediate results should not be anticipated, but in the interim periods between their investigations in the field, their time could be productively spent in making thorough analyses of data collected by them previously, and in “sharpening up” their analysis tools. (2) In concert with the aforementioned task force, a sensor system should be developed expressly for detecting and recording anomalistic observational phenomena for hard-data evaluation. The system might include one or more phased-array radars (certainly not having the cost or capability of the FPS-85, but operating in a limited fashion that would be similar to the FPS-85). A phased-array radar would have the advantage over a conventional “dish” radar in that it could track at high rates and divide its energy in an optimum fashion between detection and tracking. The control system would be unique, and would necessitate the development of a sequential data-processing controller that would increase the state variables describing the object’s path from a six-dimensional position and velocity estimation to a 12-dimensional acceleration and jerk estimation (Baker (1967)) in order to follow erratic motion. In addition, the data base would have to be especially designed, to avoid manmade space objects and (if possible) airplanes, birds, common meteors, etc. It should, however, be designed to detect and track nearby cometoids, macrometeorites (fireballs), ball lightning, and any other erratic or anomalistic object within its range. Optical cameras (including spectrographic equipment) should be slaved to the radar, in order to provide more comprehensive data. Because of the aforementioned low frequency of anomalistic data, alarms from the system should not occur very frequently and could be communicated directly to the recommended task force. (3) A proposed new-generation, space-based long-wave-length infrared surveillance sensor system should be funded and the associated software should be modified to include provisions for the addition of anomalistic objects in its data base. The specific sensor system cannot be identified for reasons of security, but details can probably be obtained from the Air Force. This sensor system, in particular, could provide some data (perhaps incomplete) on anomalistic, objects which exhibit a slight temperature contrast with the space background, on a basis of noninterference with its military mission. The system represents a promising technological development, and no other novel


technique introduced in recent years offers more promise for space surveillance. In my view, the scientific principles underlying the proposed surveillance system are sound, and a developmental measurements program should be initiated. (4) The software designed for the FPS-85 phase-array radar at Eglin Air Force Base be extended in order to provide a capability to detect and track anomalistic space objects. The relatively inexpensive modification could include the implementation of tracking techniques such as those outlined in Baker (1967). It should, however, be clearly borne in mind that only a limited amount of tracking time (about 30 percent) could be devoted to this endeavor, because of the overriding importance of the surveillance of manmade space objects which is the basic responsibility of this radar. (5) Various “listening post” projects should be reestablished (using existing instruments) in order to seek out possible communications from other intelligent life sources in the universe. See, for example, Shklovskii and Sagan (1966), chapters 27, 28, 30, and 34. (6) Technological and behavioral pattern forecasting studies should be encouraged in order to give at least limited insight into the gross characteristics of an advanced civilization. These studies (probably not Government funded) should include the social-psychological implications of anomalistic observational phenomena, as well as the psychological impact upon our own culture that could be expected from “contact” with an advanced civilization. (See ch. 33 of Shklovskii and Sagan (1966).) (7) Studies should be initiated in the psychiatric/medical problems of evaluating the credibility of witness’ testimony concerning bizarre or unusual events. (See app. 3 of this report.)


All of the foregoing recommendations involve the expenditure of funds, and we are all well aware of the severe limitations on the funding of research today. On the other hand, I feel that one of the traps that we have fallen into, so far, is reliance on quick-look, undermanned and underfunded programs to investigate a tremendous quantity of often ambiguous data. I would discourage such programs as being diversionary, in regard to the overall scientific goal. The goal of understanding anomalistic phenomena, if attained, may be of unprecedented importance to the human race. We must get a positive scientific program off the ground; a program that progresses according to the highest scientific standards, has specific objectives, is well funded, and long term. Thank you. (The appendixes and attachments to Dr. Baker’s statement follow:)

  1. Film Analysis, Part 1
  2. Film Analysis, Part 2
  3. References
  4. Appendix 1: Biliography
  5. Appendix 2: Eyewitness Assessment
  6. Appendix 3: Article Reprints




Several Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO’s) were sighted and photographed at about 11:10 MST on July 2, 1952 by Delbert C. Newhouse at a point on State Highway 30, seven miles north of Tremonton, Utah (latitude 41° 50″, longitude


112° 10′). Mr. Newhouse, a Chief Warrant Officer in the U.S. Navy,* was in transit from Washington, D.C. to Portland, Oregon. He, his wife and their two children were making the trip by car. Shortly after passing through the city of Tremonton, his wife noticed a group of strange shining objects in the air off towards the eastern horizon. She called them to her husband’s attention and prevailed upon him to stop the car. When he got out, he observed the objects (twelve to fourteen of them) to be directly overhead and milling about. He described them as “gun metal colored objects shaped like two saucers, one inverted on top of the other.” He estimated that they subtended “about the same angle as B-29’s at 10,000 feet” (about half a degree — i.e., about the angular diameter of the moon). (Next, he ran to the trunk of his car, took out his Bell and Howell Automaster 16mm movie camera equipped with a 3″ telephoto lens, loaded it, focused it at infinity and began shooting. There was no reference point above the horizon so he was unable to estimate absolute size, speed or distance. He reports that one of the objects reversed its course and proceeded away from the rest of the group; he held the camera still and allowed this single object to pass across the field of view of the camera, picking it up later in its course. He repeated this for three passes. During the filming, Newhouse changed the iris stop of the camera from f/8 to f/16. The density of the film can be seen to change markedly at a point about 30% through the sequence. The camera was operated at 16 fps. The color film (Daylight Kodachrome) after processing was submitted to his superiors. The Navy forwarded the film to the USAF-ATIC where the film was studied for several months. According to Al Chop (then with ATlC and presently with DAC) Air Force personnel were convinced that the objects were not airplanes; on the other hand the hypothesis that the camera might have been out of focus and the objects soaring gulls could neither be confirmed nor denied. Mr. Chop’s remarks are essentially substantiated by Capt. Edward Ruppelt, reference (1) then head of Project “Blue Book” for ATIC. A 35mm reprint of the Newhouse “Utah” film was submitted to Douglas Aircraft Company for examination. Visual study of the reprints on the Recordak and astronomical plate measuring engine revealed the following: The film comprises about 1,200 frames; on most of the frames there appear many round white dots, some elliptical. The dots often seem clustered in constellations, or formations which are recognizable for as long as seventeen seconds. A relative motion plot (obtained from an overlay vellum trace on the Recordak) of two typical formations are presented. The objects seem to cluster in groups of two’s and three’s. On some frames they flare up and then disappear from view in 0.25 seconds or less and sometimes they appear as a randomly scattered “twinkling” of dots. The dot images themselves show no structure; they are white and have no color fringes. Examination under a microscope shows the camera to be well focused as the edges of the images are sharp and clear on many of the properly exposed frames (of the original print). Angular diameters range from about 0.001,6 to 0.000,4 radians. Their pattern of motion is essentially a curvilinear milling about. Sometimes the objects appear to circle about each other. There are no other objects in the field of view which might give a clue as to the absolute motion of the cluster. In the overlay trace, the frame of reference is determined by a certain object whose relative motion during a sequence of frames remains rather constant. This object is used as a reference point and the lower edge of the frame as abscissa. Assuming the camera to have been kept reasonably uncanted, the abscissa would be horizontal and the ordinate vertical. In the overlay trace, the particular frame itself is used as the reference. Assuming the camera was held steady (there is an unconscious tendency to pan with a moving object) the coordinate system is quasi-fixed. It is realized that both of these coordinate systems are in actuality moving, possibly possessing both velocity and acceleration. No altitude or azimuth determination can be made because of lack of background. The only measurable quantities of interest are therefore the relative angular distances between the objects and their time derivatives. Graphs of two typical time variations of relative angular separation and velocity are included (in Baker and Makemson (1967)). The relative angular velocity is seen to vary from zero to 0.006,5 radians per second. The relative angular acceleration had a maximum value of 0.003,6 radians per second squared. Supposing the *At the time he had already logged some 2,200 hours as a chief photographer with the Navy.


camera was kept stationary the average angular velocities for the object moving across the field are 0.039 and 0.031 radians per second. The angular velocities in these sequences sometimes vary erratically from 0.07 to 0.01 radians per second. This variation may be attributed in part to camera “jiggling” and in part to the object’s motion. The decrease in average angular velocity could be due to the object’s having regressed between filmings just as was reported by Newhouse. Also the average image diameter decreases about 30% over the entire film, indicating a possible over-all regression of the objects. The following tabulation indicates the hypothetical transverse component of relative velocities and accelerations at various distances. It is noted that the transverse velocity may be only a fraction of the total velocity so that the numbers actually indicate minimum values.

If the object’s distance was-

Its transverse velocity was-

Its transverse acceleration was-

Velocity of single object was-

100 ft. 0.65 ft./sec. or 0.44 m.p.h. 0.36 ft./sec2 or 0.011g. 3.8 ft./sec. or 2.7 m.p.h.
1,000 ft. 6.5 ft./sec, or 4.4 m.p.h. 3.6 ft./sec2 or 0.11 g. 39 ft./sec. or 27 m.p.h.
2,000 ft. 13 ft./sec. or 8.8 m.p.h. 7.2 ft./sec2 or 0.22g. 78 ft./sec. or 54 m.p.h.
1 mile. 23 m.p.h. 0.56 g 135 m.p.h.
5 miles. 115 m.p.h. 2.8 g 670 m.p.h.
10 miles. 230 m.p.h. 5.6 g 1,300 m.p.h.

The objects in the “Utah” and “Montana” films can only be correlated on the basis of two rather weak points. First, their structure, or rather lack of it, is similar. Thus as shown, in the “blow-ups” there are no recognizable differences between them*. Second, the objects on the “Montana” film are manifestly a single pair; on the “Utah” film perhaps 30% of the frames show clusters of objects seemingly also grouped in pairs. The weather report was obtained by the author from the Airport Station at Salt Lake City. The nearest station with available data is Corinne which reported a maximum temperature of 84°, a minimum of 47° and no precipitation. A high pressure cell from the Pacific Northwest spread over Northern Utah during July 2, the pressure at Tremonton would have a rising trend, the visibility good, and the winds relatively light. The absence of clouds and the apparently excellent visibility shown on the films would seem to be in agreement with this report. Through use of References (2) and (3), the Sun’s azimuth N132°E altitude 65° was computed. No shadows were available to confirm the time of filming. The image size being roughly that of the Montana film (a few of the objects being perhaps 10% larger than the largest on the Montana) the same remarks as to airplane reflections apply, i.e., they might have been caused by Sun reflections from airplanes within one to three miles to the observer, although at these distances they should have been identified as conventional aircraft by the film or the observer. No specific conclusions as to Sun reflection angles can be drawn since the line of motion of the objects cannot be confirmed. However, the reported E to W motion of the UFO’s and their passing overhead coupled with the SE azimuth of the Sun would make the achievement of optimal Sun reflections rather difficult. That the images could have been produced by aluminum foil “chaff”** seems possible, at least on the basis of the images shown, as very intense specular Sun reflections from ribbons of chaff might flare out to about the size of the UFO’s. Examination of film frames obtained from the photogrammetric experiment — reference Analysis of Photographic Material, Serial 01, Appendix II — show that no significant broadening is produced by flat white diffuse reflectors such as birds, bits of paper, etc. at f/16 under the conditions of the filming. Actual measurements show a slight “bleeding” or flaring of about 10% to 20%. The rectangular flat white cardboards of the aforementioned experiments represented very roughly the configuration of birds. The light reflected by such a surface is probably greater than that from a curved feather surface of a bird. *The images on the “Utah” film appear to be a little brighter. However, possible variations in development techniques would not allow quantitative analysis in this regard. **Bits of aluminum foil dumped overboard by planes, often utilized as a countermeasure against antiaircraft radar. This material might possibly be in the form of large ribbons several feet long and several inches across.


One figure shows the appearance of one and two foot birds* as they might appear on a 16 mm frame taken with a 3″ telephoto lens f/16 at a distance of 1,200′, at 3,000′ and at’ 3,300′. Many of the images on the “Utah” film have an angular diameter of 0.001,2 radians (some as large as 0.001,16 radians), thus they might be interpreted as one foot (wing span) birds at 600′ to 800′, two foot (wing span) birds at 1,200′ to 1,600′ or three foot (wing span) birds at 2,400′ to 3,200′. At these distances, it is doubted if birds would give the appearance of round dots; also they would have been identifiable by the camera if not visually. However, actual movies of birds in flight would have to be taken to completely confirm this conclusion. The following type of gulls have been know to fly at times over this locality: California Herring Gull (a common summer resident), Ring-Billed Gull and-the Fork-Tailed Gull, see Reference (4). The images are probably not those of balloons as their number is too great and the phenomenon of flaring up to a constant brightness for several seconds, and then dying out again cannot well be associated with any known balloon observations. Certain soaring insects — notably “ballooning spiders” (References (5) and (6)) produce bright-moving points of light. The author has witnessed such a phenomenon. It is produced by Sun reflections off the streamers of silken threads spun by many types of spiders. Caught by the wind, these streamers serve as a means of locomotion floating the spider high into the air. They occasionally have the appearance of vast numbers of silken flakes which fill the air and in some recorded instances extend over many square miles and to a height of several hundred feet. The reflection, being off silk threads, is not as bright as diffuse reflection from a flat white board. Thus no flaring of the images could be expected. The author noted that the sections of the “web” that reflected measured from ¼” to ½” for the largest specimens. Thus the images might be attributed to ballooning spiders at distances of 50 to 100 feet. However, these web reflections ordinarily show upon only against a rather dark background and it is doubted if their intensity would be great enough to produce the intense UFO images against a bright sky. Besides the above remarks, pertinent to the actual images, several facts can be gleaned from the motion of objects. The observations are not apt to support the supposition that the objects were conventional aircraft as the maneuvers are too erratic, the relative accelerations probably ruling out aircraft at distances of over five miles. Several observers familiar with the appearance of chaff have seen the film and concluded that the persistence of the nontwinkling constellations, their small quantity, and the reported absence of aircraft overhead makes chaff unlikely. Furthermore, the single object passing across the field of view would be most difficult to explain on the basis of chaff. These same remarks would apply also to bits of paper swept up in thermal updrafts. The relative angular velocity might be compatible with soaring bird speeds at distances of less than one mile, the angular velocity of the single object could be attributed to a bird within about one thousand feet. There is a tendency to pan with a moving object — not against it — so the velocities in the table probably represent a lower bound. The motion of the objects is not exactly what one would expect from a flock of soaring birds (not the slightest indication of a decrease in brightness due to periodic turning with the wind or flapping) and no cumulus clouds are present which might betray the presence of a strong thermal updraft. On the other hand the single object might represent a single soaring bird which broke away in search of a new thermal — quite a common occurrence among gulls — see Reference (7). That the air turbulence necessary to account for their movement if they were nearby insects (even the single object’s motion!) is possible, can be concluded from examination of Reference (8). However, if the objects were nearby spider webs the lack of observed or photographed streamers is unusual. Furthermore, the fact that they were visible from a moving car for several minutes is hard to reconcile with localized insect activity. The phenomenon of atmospheric mirages, Reference (9), might conceivably account for the images. Such a hypothesis is hampered by the clear weather conditions and the persistence and clarity of the images. Also no “shimmering” can be detected and the motion is steady. Again the object which breaks away would be difficult to explain. *The dimensions refer to wing spread. The actual exposed white area of a bird is usually less and depends upon the perspective of the observer. This difference has been roughly accounted for in the data given, however, if the body were the principal reflector the distance given should be reduced by a factor of 2 or 3.


It has been suggested that spurious optical reflections or light leaks in the camera might be responsible. Examples of such effects have been examined and found to be quite different from the UFO’s (in the Utah Film). The evidence remains rather contradictory and no single hypothesis of a natural phenomenon yet suggested seems to completely account for the UFO involved. The possibility of multiple hypotheses, i.e. that the Utah UFO’s are the result of two simultaneous natural phenomena might possibly yield the answer. However, as in the case of the “Montana” analysis, no definite conclusion (as to a credible natural phenomenon) could be obtained.


(1) The “American Nautical Almanac” 1950. (2) H. O. No. 214, “Tables of Computed Altitude and Azimuth for Latitudes 40° to 49°.” (3) J. Veath, J. G. “200 Miles Up,” Ronald Press Company, N.Y. Second Edition, 1955, p. 111. (4) Kaiser, T. R., “Meteors,” Pergamon Press, 1955. (5) La Paz, L. “Meteoroids, Meteorites, and Hyperbolic Meteor Velocities,” Chapt. XIX of the Physics and Medicine of the Upper Atmosphere. (6) 0. G.Farrington, “Meteorites,” Chicago, 1915. (7) “Measurement of Birds.” Scientific Publications of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Vol. II, 1931. (8) Kartright, F. H., “The Ducks, Geese and Swans of North America,” American Wild Life Institute, 1943. (9) Headley, F. W. “The Flight of Birds,” Witherly and Co., 326 Holborn, London, 1912. (10) Menzel, D. H., “Flying Saucers,” Harvard University Press, 1953. (11) Mees, C. E. K. “The Theory of the Photographic Process,” Revised Edition, MacMillan Co., N.Y., 1954. (12) Danjon, A., Conder, A. “Lunettes et Telescopes,” Paris, 1935. (13) Kuiper, G. P., “The Atmospheres of the Earth and Planets,” University of Chicago Press, 1951. (14) Ruppelt, E. J., “The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects,” Doubleday and Co., 1956.




Blow Up of a frame from the Utah Film Showing a Typical Formation of the Objects



Blow Up of a frame from the Utah Film Depicting One of the Pairs of Objects


Blow Up of a Frame from the Montana Film Depicting the Two Objects



Microphotograph of One of the Frames of the Argentina Film that Exhibits the Luminosity of the Yellow, Pear-Shaped Anomalistic Object



  1. Baker, R.M.L., Jr. (1956) “Analysis of Photographic Material Serial 01 and 02,” Douglas Aircraft Report dated 24 March and 26 May l956.
  2. Baker, R.M.L., Jr. (1967) Astrodynamics: Applications and Advanced Topics, Academic Press, New York, pp. 112-115 and pp. 376 to 392.
  3. Baker, R.M.L., Jr. (1968a) “Observational Evidence of Anomalistic Phenomena,” Journal of the Astronautical Sciences, Vol. XV, No. 1, pp. 31-36.
  4. Baker, R.M.L. Jr. “Future Experiments on Anomalistic Observational Phenomena,” Journal of the Astronautical Sciences, Vol. XV, No. 1, pp. 44-45.
  5. Baker, R.M.L., Jr. and Ford, K.C. (1968) “Performance Analysis of Space-Population Cataloging Systems (U),” Secret, SAR, NOFORN Report completed under Air Force Contract F04701-68-C-0219 22 April 1968.
  6. Baker, R.M.L., Jr. and Makemson, M.W. (1967) An Introduction to Astrodynamics, Second Edition, Academic Press, New York, pp. 328-330.
  7. Fuller, J.G. (1966) Incident at Exeter, Putnam, New York.
  8. Glover, K.M., Hardy, K.R., Konrad, T.G., Sullivan, W.N., and Michaels, A.S. (1966) “Radar Observations of Insects in Free Flight,” Science, Vol. 154, pp. 967-972.
  9. Hynek, J.A. (1966) Science, Vol. 154, p. 329,
  10. Klass, P.J. (1968a) UFO’s Identified, Random House, New York.
  11. Klass,P.J. (1968b) Letter dated May 29, 1968.
  12. Lamar, D.L. and Baker, R.M.L., Jr. (1965) “Possible Residual Effects of Tunguska-type Explosions on Desert Pavements,” Presented at the 28th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society in Odessa, Texas, October 21 to 24.


  1. Markowitz, W. (1967) Science, Vol. 157, pp. 1274-1279.
  2. McDonald, J. (1967) “The UFO Phenomenon — A New Frontier Awaiting Serious Scientific Exploration,” (An article on an interview with Dr. McDonald by Nyla Crone) Arizona Daily Wildcat, April 6, pp. 6 to 8.
  3. Menzel, D.H. (1953) Flying Saucers, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.
  4. Minas, J.S. and Ackoff, R.L. (1964) “Individual and Collective Judgements,” Chapt. 17 in Human Judgements and Optimality, Edited by M.W. Shelly, II and G. L. Bryan, John Wiley and Sons, New York, pp. 351-359.
  5. O’Keefe, J.A. (1967) Letter dated October 26.
  6. Page, T. (1968) “Photographic Sky Coverage for the Detection of UFO’s,” Science, Vol. 160, pp. 1258-1260.
  7. Powers, W.T. (1967) “Analysis of UFO Reports,” Science, 7 April, 1967, p. 11.
  8. Robey, D.H. (1960) “A Hypothesis on the Slow Moving Green Fireballs,” Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, Vol. 17, No. 11.
  9. Rosa, R.J., Powers, W.T., Valee, J.F., Gibbs, T.R.P., Steffey, P.C., Garcia, R.A. and Cohen, G. (1967) Science, Vol. 158, pp. 1265-1266.
  10. Shklovskii, L.S. and Sagan, C. (1966) Intelligent Life in the Universe, Holden-Day, Inc. San Francisco.
  11. Singer, S. (1963) in Problems of Atmospheric and Space Electricity, edited by S. C. Coroniti, Elsevier Publishing Company, New York, p. 463.
  12. Tacker, L.J. (1960) Flying Saucers and the United States Air Force, Van Nostrand, Princeton, New Jersey.
  13. Walker, S., III (1968) “Establishing Observer Creditability: A Proposed Method,” Journal of the Astronautical Sciences, Vol. XV, No. 2, pp. 92-96.
  14. Wooldridge,D.E. (1968) Mechanical Man: The Physical Basis of Intelligent Life, McGraw-Hill, New York, Chapt. 19.



July 1968


00001 “Elements of Charm’s Objects” (with M. W. Corn, G. L. Matlin, and Silvia Rachman), Minor Planets Circular, 1100, July 15, 1954.
00002 “Optimal Thrust Angle Program for Transit Between Space Points,” Douglas Aircraft Company Report SM19180, July 1, 1955.
00003 “Keplerian Missile Trajectories Modified by Initial Thrust and Aerodynamic Drag,” Douglas Aircraft Company Report SM-19234, August 1, 1955.
00004 “Approximation to Missile Trajectories on a Rotating Earth,” Douglas Aircraft Company Report SM-19235, May 7, 1956.
00005 “Satellite Librations” (with W. B. Klemperer), Astronautica ACTA, III, Fasc. 1, 16-27, 1957.
00006 “Units and Constants for Geocentric Orbits” (with Samuel Herrick and C.G. Hilton), American Rocket Society Reprint No. 497-57; Proceedings of the 8th International Astronautical Congress, Barcelona, 1957, 197-235.
00007 “Orbits” (with Samuel Herrick) Aviation Age, March 1958, 70-77, Vol. 28, #9.
00008 “Transitional Correction to the Drag of a Sphere in Free Molecule Flow” (with A. F. Charwat), The Physics of Fluids, 1, No. 2, 1958, 73-81.
00009 “Drag Interactions of Meteorites with the Earth’s Atmosphere,” dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree of PhD at UCLA, May, 1958, xii + 183 pp.
00010 “Passive Stability of a Satellite Vehicle,” Navigation, 6, No. 1, Spring 1958, 64-5.
00011 “Navigational Requirements for the Return from a Space Voyage,” Navigation, 6, No. 3, Autumn 1958, 175-181.
00012 “Practical Limitations on Orbit Determination,” Institute of Aeronautical Science Preprint No. 842, July 8-11, 1958, 10 pp.
00013 “Astrodynamics and Trajectories of Space Vehicles,” Space Technology Lecture Series, sponsored by the Long Island IRE and the American Rocket Society, November 13, 1958.
00014 “Encke’s Method and Variation of Parameters as Applied to Re-entry Trajectories,” American Astronautical Society Reprint No. 58-36, August 19, 1958, 13 pp. and Journal of the American Astronautical Society, 6, No. 1, 1959.


00015 “Recent Advances in Astrodynamics,” (with Samuel Herrick), Jet Propulsion, 28, No. 10, 1958, 649-654.
00016 “Ephemeral Natural Satellites of the Earth,” Science, 128, 1958, 1211.
00017 “Gravitational and Related Constants for Accurate Space Navigation,” University of California, Los Angeles, Astronomical Papers, No. 24, 1, 1958, 297-338. (Same as Item 00006).
00018 “Precision Orbit Determination,” (with L. Walters and E. Durand), Aeronutronic Systems, Inc. Report U-306, December 16, 1958.
00019 “Note on Interplanetary Navigation,” Jet Propulsion, 28, No. 12, 1958, 834-835.
00020 “Accuracy Required for a Return from Interplanetary Voyages,” J. British Interplanetary Soc., May-June, 1959, 93-97 (similar to Item 00011), Vol 17, #3.
00021 “The Application of Astronomical Perturbation Techniques to the Return from Space Voyages,” ARS Journal, March 1959, 29, No. 3, 207-211.
00022 “Sputtering as it is Related to Hyperbolic Meteorites,” J. Applied Physics, 30, No. 4, April 1959, 550-555.
00023 “Transitional Aerodynamic Drag of Meteorites, ” Astrophysical Journal, 129, No. 3, May 1959, 826-841.
00024 “The Sky is No Limit for Opportunities in Astrodynamics,” IRE Student Quarterly, May 1959.
00025 “Efficient Precision Orbit Computation Techniques,” (with G. Westrom, C. G. Hilton, R. Gersten, J. Arsenault, and E. Browne) ARS Reprint, 1959. (No. 869-59).
00026 “Three-Dimensional Drag Perturbation Technique,” UCLA Astrodynamical Report #4, July 1, 1959.
00027 “Astrodynamics,” (with Samuel Herrick) Astronautics, 4, No. 11, pp. 30, 180-1, 1959.
00028 “Effect of Accommodation on the Transitional Aerodynamic Drag of Meteorites”, Astrophysical Journal, 130, No. 3, 1024-1026, November 1959.
00029 “Training in Astronautics,” Space, December 1959.


00030 An Introduction to Astrodynamics (with Maud Makemson) Academic Press, New York, October 1960, 358 +xxi
00031 “Librations on a Slightly Eccentric Orbit,” ARS Journal, 30, No. 1, 124-26, January 1960.
00032 “Plane Librations of a Prolate Ellipsoidal Shell,” ARS Journal, 30, No. 1, 126-128, January, 1960.
00033 “Lunar Guidance,” (with Maj. J. Schmitt and C. C. Combs) in SR-183 Lunar Observatory Study Vol. II (S), ARDC Project No. 7987, Task No. 19769, AFBMD TR 60-44, pages II-3 to II-43, April 1960.
00034 “Orbit Determination from Range and Range-Rate Data,” ARS Preprint 1220-60, May 1960.
00035 “Astrodynamics,” in Space Trajectories (Academic Press, New York), October 1960 29-68.
00036 “Three-Dimensional Drag Perturbation Technique,” ARS Journal, 30, No. 8, 748-753, 1960. (Same as 00026).
00037 “Review of Perturbations of Orbits of Artificial Satellites Due to Air Resistance,” ARS Journal, July 1960, 703-704, Vol. 30, No. 7.
00038 “Review of Dependence of Secular Variations of Orbit Elements on Air Resistance,” ARS Journal, July 1960, 675, Vol. 30, No. 7.
00039 “Efficient Precision Orbit Computation Techniques” (revised), ARS Journal, 30, No. 8, 740-747, 1960.
00040 “State-of-the-Art-1960 Astrodynamics,” Astronautics, 5, No. 11, 30, 1960
00041 “Novel Orbit Determination Techniques As Applied to Air Force Systems,” paper presented to the Seventh Annual ARDC Science and Engineering Symposium, Boston, Massachusetts, November 30, 1960.
00042 “1960 Advances in Astrodynamics,” ARS Journal, December 1960 (expanded version of Item 00038).
00043 “Analysis and Standardization of Astrodynamic Constants,” (with Makemson and Westrom), Journal of the American Astronautical Society, VII, No. 1.


00044 “Preliminary Results Concerning Range-Only Orbit Determination,” Proceedings of the First International Symposium on Analytical Astrodynamics, p. 61, June 29, 1961.
00045 “Perturbations,” pp. 4-16 – 4-18; “Orbit Determination,” pp. 8-34 – 8-38; “Navigation,” pp. 27-33 – 27-34, Handbook of Astronautical Engineering, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1961.
00046 “State of the Art – 1961 Astrodynamics,” Astronautics, Vol. 6, No. 12, December 1961.
00047 “Review of Methods of Celestial Mechanics, by Dirk Brouwer and G. M. Clemence,” and “Review of Physical Principles of Astronautics, by Arthur I. Berman, ” The Journal of the Astronautical Sciences, Vol. VIII. No. 4 Winter 1961.
00048 “Astrodynamics” Chapter in McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1962.
00049 “Determination of the Orbit of the Russian Venus Probe,” (with B. C. Douglas, David Newell, A. K. Stazer, R. L. Held and M. Lifson). ARS Journal, pp. 259-260, February 1962.
00050 “A Note on the Determination of Orbit from Fragmentary Data,” (with B. C. Douglas and Mary P. Francis). Lockheed Astrodynamics Research Report #1, LR 15379, April 1962.
00051 “Review of Introduction to Space Dynamics, by W. T. Thomson,” “Review of An Introduction to Celestial Mechanics, by Theodore E. Sterne,” “Review of Fundamentals of Celestial Mechanics, by J. M. A. Danby,” The Journal of Astronautical Sciences, Vol. IX, No. 4, Winter 1962.
00052 “Influence of Planetary Mass Uncertainty on Interplanetary Orbits,” ARS Journal, No. 12, Vol. 32, December 1962.
00053 “Elimination of Spurious Data in the Process of Preliminary and Definitive Orbit Determination,” Dynamics of Satellites Symposium (Paris, May 28-30 1962), Berlin, Springer-Verlag, 1963.
00054 “Utilization of the Laplacian Method from a Lunar Observatory,” Icarus, Vol. 1, No. 4, January 1963.
00055 “Lunar Radio Beacon Location by Doppler Measurements,” (with T. P. Gabbard), AIAA Journal, Vol. 1, No. 4, April 1963.


00056 “Review of Space Mechanics, by W. C. Nelson and E. E. Loft,” Journal of Astronautical Sciences, Winter 1963.
00057 “[Review of] A Bibliography of General Perturbation Solutions of Earth Satellite Motion,” by Taylor Gabbard Jr. and Eugene Levin. Astronautics and Aerospace Engineering, November 1963.
00058 “Review of Introduction to Celestial Mechanics, by S. W. MCuskey,” Journal of Astronautical Sciences, Winter 1963.
00059 “Review of Space Flight Vol. II, Dynamics, by Kraft Ehricke,” Journal of Astronautical Sciences,. Winter 1963.
00060 “Influence of Martian Ephemeris and Constants on Interplanetary Trajectories,” Chapter in Exploration of Mars, American Astronautical Society, 1963.
00061 “Orbit Determination by Linearized Drag Analysis,” (with Kurt Forster). AIAA Preprint No. 63-428, presented to AIAA Astrodynamics Conference August 19-21, 1963, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
00062 “Extension of f and g Series to Non-Two-Body Forces,” AIAA Preprint No. 64-33, presented at the Aerospace Sciences Meeting, New York, New York, January 20-22, 1964, also AIAA Journal, July, 1964.
00063 “Review of Orbital Dynamics of Space Vehicles,” by Ralph Deutsch, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Journal of Astronautical Sciences, Spring 1964.
00064 An Introduction to Astrodynamics, (with Maud Makemson) Academic Press, New York, October 1960, third printing, 1963), Fourth Printing in preparation.
00065 “1964 State of the Art in Astrodynamics,” AIAA Annual Meeting, Wash., D.C. June 19 – July 2, 1964, AIAA Preprint No. 64-535, (Also lecture given at Univ. of Wash., Seattle, May 29, 1964, and at Boeing Scientific Research Laboratory, June 1, 1964).
00066 “Space Mechanics,” Chapter in Space/Aeronautics, Research and Development Tech. Handbook, 1964/1965, pp. 11-13, published by Conover-Mast, 1964. (New York).
00067 “Radiation on a Satellite in the Presence of [a] Partly Diffuse and Partly Specular Reflecting Body,” presented at the Joint Symposium on the TRAJECTORIES OF ARTIFICIAL CELESTIAL BODIES AS DETERMINED FROM OBSERVATIONS; Paris, France, April 20-23, 1965.
00068 “Possible Residual Effects of Meteor and Comet Explosions on Desert Pavements,” with Donald L. Lamar; presented at the 28th Meteoritical Society Meeting, Odessa, Texas, October 1965.


00069 Proc. of COSPAR/IUTAM/IAU Symp., Springer/Verlag, 1966 (Same as 00067)
00070 An Introduction to Astrodynamics – 2nd Edition, Academic Press, New York, 1967. (With M. W. Makemson)
00071 Aerodynamics – Applications and Advanced Topics, Academic Press, New York, 1967.
00072 “Recent Advances in Astrodynamics, 1961,” (with Mary P. Francis), UCLA Astrodynamical Report #13, January 1962. (Similar to 00046).
00073 “Review of Theory of Orbits by V. Szebehely,” Journal of The Franklin Institute, Vol. 284, No. 6, December 1967.
00074 “Observational Evidence of Anomalistic Phenomena,” 1968, Journal of the Astronautical Sciences, Volume XV, No. 1, pp. 31-36.
00075 “Future Experiments on Anomalistic Observational Phenomena,” 1968, letter to editor, Journal of the Astronautical Sciences. Volume XV, No. 1, pp. 44-45.
00076 “Astrodynamics,” 1968, in Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Physics, Pergamon Press.
00077 “Performance Analysis of Space-Population Cataloging Systems (U),” 1968, Secret, SAR, NOFORN Report completed under Air Force Contract F04701-68-C-0219. (With K.C. Ford), April 22, 1968.
00078 “Hydrofoil Sailcraft Water Conveyance Optimum Lift-off Speed,” 1968, Science, in press.
00079 “Preliminary Orbit Determination for High-Data-Rate Sensors,” 1968, Journal of the Astronautical Sciences, Volume XV, No. 5.
00080 “Surveillance System Sensor Mis-Association of One Object with Another,” 1968, to be published.





Dr. Sydney Walker III


  1. Statement of Reason(s) for Evaluation of the Subject
  2. General Medical Evaluation
    1. Past History (medical, family, social)
    2. Review of Systems (i.e. cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, etc.)
    3. Physical Examination
    4. Selected Laboratory Studies (hematologic, urinary, biochemical)
    5. Summary of Positive Findings
    6. Probability (discussion plus creditability score) of Influence of General Medical Status on Observer Creditability
  3. Neuro-ophthalmologic Evaluation
    1. “Eye” History
    2. Qualitative Ophthalmologic Examination: detailed, descriptive report
    3. Quantitative Neuro-ophthalmologic Investigation
      1. Photographs (color) of exterior eyes (gross)
      2. Goniometry
      3. Visual Acuity (quantitated)
      4. Color Vision (quantitated)
      5. Photographs (color) of the fundi (retina, optic nerve, etc.)
      6. Visual Fields by perimetry (quantitated)
      7. Ophthalmodynomometry (quantitated)
      8. Opticokinetic examination
    4. Summary of Positive Findings
    5. Probability (discussion plus score) of Influence of Neuro-ophthalmologic Status on Observer Creditability
  4. Neurologic Evaluation
    1. Neurologic History
    2. Neurologic Examination
    3. Pertinent Laboratory Studies (biochemical, toxic metals, etc.)
    4. Summary of Positive Findings
    5. Probability (discussion plus score) of Influence of Neurologic Status on Observer Creditability
  5. Psychiatric Evaluation
    1. Anamnesis: Detailed History plus Exploration of Attitudes and Feelings (via interview)
    2. Mental Status Examination
    3. MMPI Testing (for corroboration and additional information about personality)
    4. Summary of Positive Findings: Psychiatric Evaluation and Character Assessment (with supportive data)
    5. Probability (discussion plus score) of Influence of Psychiatric Status on Observer Creditability
  6. Integration of Findings and Composite Assessment of Central Nervous System Functioning
    1. Summary of Specific Abnormalities with a Discussion of Their Relation to Each Other and Their Multifactorial Contribution to Observer Creditability (plus an Overall Creditability Score)


  1. Statement of Reason(s) for Evaluation of the Subject

The subject, Mr. C. F. McC. (Project #704), is a 37 year-old white Catholic single male who is a Tucson bank official. He was referred to us for screening on 17 November 1967 by the Tucson Police Department, following his 17 November 1967 (AM) report that he had seen a large, luminous disc in the northeastern sky for several minutes at 3 AM, the same date. His evaluation took place on 18 and 19 November 1967 as part of the Research Project on Anomalistic Phenomena.

  1. General Medical Evaluation
    1. Past History

Medical History: The subject says his general state of health has always been good, that he has no current physical complaints and has not seen a physician in the past five years. Childhood diseases: Measles, mumps, chicken pox before the age of six. No complications. Hospitalizations and Operations: a) Tonsillectomy in 1938 with a two day hospitalization, and no complications; b) Appendectomy in 1943 with four day hospitalization, and no complications. Past illnesses: He denies having had a) tuberculosis b) venereal diseases c) pneumonia d) heart, kidney, and gastrointestinal problems e) neurologic or psychiatric difficulties. Drugs: Only medication at the present time are non-proprietary sleeping pills (“Sleep Eze”). He has not ever been exposed to any toxic substances has never had to take any medication over a long period, and has never used any of the popular addicting drugs. Family History: Father died in 1947 at age 58 from a “stroke”. Mother died in 1959 at age 70 of unknown causes. She had had “asthma” for a number of years. There are six siblings, ranging in age from 29 to 43 (two older brothers and four sisters). All are alive and in good health. There is no family history of diabetes, hypertension, malignancy, epilepsy, migraine headache, psychosis, or tuberculosis. All of the males in the subject’s immediate family (father, brothers, and subject himself) have been heavy drinkers. Social History: Mr. McC. presently works forty-four hours per week as a junior executive for a local bank where he has been for the past five years. He lives alone in a boarding house. He has never married and presently doesn’t date. His present residence in Arizona started approximately twelve years ago following his honorable discharge from the Army. During his two years in the Military Service, he worked in the finance office and achieved the rank of Corporal. The patient has smoked from one to two packs of cigarettes per day for the past twelve years and admits to daily “social drinking” (for clarification, see Section V, Psychiatric Anamnesis).

    1. Review of Systems

Head: No history of trauma, loss of consciousness, headaches, or light-headedness. Eyes: No double vision, blurred vision, flashing lights, spots, or halos around lights. No history of trauma or previous infection or excessive tearing. Recent onset of photophobia so troublesome that he wears sunglasses all the time on bright days.


Ears: No pain or discharge. No previous infections or trauma. No ringing, dizziness, or decrease in acuity. Mouth: No difficulty with chewing or swallowing; no burning or biting of the tongue. No history of dental problems. Nose: No nosebleeds, trauma, difficulty with smelling or post-nasal discharge. Neck: No history of trauma, difficulty swallowing; no limitation of motion, no pain, sense of fullness, uncontrolled movements, or stiffness, Cardiorespiratory: No difficulty breathing, shortness of breath or chronic cough, no bloody sputum, night sweats, palpitation, or exertional dyspnea. No lightheadedness on getting up, no chest pain. Gastrointestinal: No nausea, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea. No abdominal pain, no history of bloody stools or changes in color of stool. No history of hemorrhoids or rectal surgery. Genitourinary: No dysuria, pyuria, or hematuria. No nocturia, no costovertebral angle tenderness. No penile discharge or sores. Endocrine System: No polydipsia or polyuria. Recent waning of appetite, however, associated with his depression of the past two months. No history of increase of hat, shoe, or ring size. No excessive sweating, heat intolerance, or loss of hair. Sexual difficulties described in Section V (Psychiatric Anamnesis). Allergic and Immunologic: The subject denies sensitivity to any foods or drugs. He has had no rashes of a protracted nature. He has been immunized for smallpox, tetanus, diphtheria, and polio (without adverse reactions).

    1. General Physical Examination

General Appearance: The subject is of medium build, weighs 149 lbs. and is five feet eleven inches tall. He has dark brown hair, is light-complexioned, appears well-nourished and hydrated. Vital Signs: Blood pressure; 140/80 right arm, 145/85 left arm. (On standing the pressure in each arm dropped 10 mmHg. immediately and then returned to normal). Temperature: 98.6; Respirations; 20 per minute; Pulse; 90 per minute and regular. Skin: His face is ruddy with mild malar telangiectasia bilaterally. There is no evidence of jaundice, cyanosis, or pallor. Hair distribution and texture is normal. His nails are of good texture and clean. No scars or other skin lesions are present. Head: Normocephalic; no exostoses, tenderness, or bruits. Eyes: No ptosis, exophthalmous, enophthalmous or scleral pigmentation. Mild conjunctival injection bilaterally (for detailed examination and review, see Section III, Neuro-ophthalmology). Nose: No inflammation or discharge; both nostrils patent; no sinus tenderness. Ears: Normal external configuration, no tophi discharge or tenderness. Both external canals clear; tympanic membranes are glistening. Mouth: No fissures, inflammation or ulceration around the lips. Oral mucosa is clear and pink. Teeth are in good repair. Tongue shows moderate degree of cigarette stain. Papillae appear normal. Throat: No ulceration; moderate injection of posterior pharynx (consistent with heavy smoking). No tonsils present. Neck: Supple; trachea midline; carotids of good quality bilaterally without thrills or bruits. No venous distension, masses, or tenderness. Thorax: Symmetrical; breasts normal for male without masses or axillary adenopathy. No increase in A-P diameter; fair diaphragmatic excursion. Lungs: Few dry, basilar rales which cleared upon coughing. Otherwise, clear. No fremitus, ronchi, or hyperresonance.


Heart and Vessels: Maximum pulse at 5th intercostal space; regular rhythm; no murmurs. There is no evidence of varicosities, stasis, or ischemia. Abdomen: Moderate protrusion of abdomen with liver edge felt in right upper quadrant, 2 cm. below the costal margin (sharp edge, non-tender, non-nodular). No other organomegaly or masses. No rebound or direct tenderness. Normal bowel sounds. No ascites or costovertebral angle tenderness. Rectal: No hemorrhoids or masses, or tenderness. Good sphincter tone; stool guaiac negative. Genitourinary: Normal uncircumcized male phallus; no evidence of scars or chancres Testes are descended bilaterally, of normal consistency and non-tender. Extremities: No limitation of motion or deformity. No inflammation or ulceration. No clubbing or peripheral edema. Neurological: See Section IV. (Neurologic Evaluation).

    1. Selected Laboratory Studies

Normal                                                  Subject Hematology: Hematocrit                                                                               40 – 54%                                                42% Hemoglobin                                                                              14 – 18 Gm.%                                       14.50% RBC                                                                                           4.5 – 6.2 mill/                            5.5 mil/ Sed. Rate                                                                                   less than l0mm/hr.Wintrobe              18 mm/hr. White blood cell count                                                            5 – 10,000 cu./mm.                              12,000 cu/mm Segmented neutrophiles                                                      40 – 60%                                                45% Band neutrophile                                                          0 – 5%                                                    4% Lymphocytes                                                                        20 – 40%                                                40% Monocytes                                                                             4 – 8%                                                    7% Eosinophiles                                                                          1 – 3%                                                    4% Basophiles                                                                             0 – 1%                                                    0 Myelocytes                                                                            0                                                              0 Non-specific Chemistries: Sodium                                                                                      136 – 145 mEq/L.                                                135 mEq./L. Potassium                                                                                 2.5 – 4.5 mEq/L.                                   3.0 mEq./L. Chloride                                                                                     100 – 106 mEq/L.                                                98 mEq./L. Carbon Dioxide content                                                         24 – 29 mEq/L.                                     29 aEq./L. Liver Function Tests: Bilirubin (Van den Bergh) Direct                                                                                      0.1 – 0.4 mg./100 ml.                           0.7 mg./l00 ml. Indirect                                                                                   0.2 – 0.7 mg./100 ml.                           0.9 mg./l00 ml. Alkaline phosphatase                                                             2 – 4.5 (Bodansky units)                     5.8 Albumin/Globulin                                                                    3.5 – 5.5Gm%/1.5 – 3Gm%                3.2/3.6Gm.% Endocrine Studies: PBI                                                                                             4 – 8 microgram/100ml.                     6.2 T-3 Uptake                                                                               10.3 – 14.3 units                                   11.9 units Glucose (Polin)                                                                         80 – 120mg./ml.                                   100mg./ml. Cholesterol                                                                                150 – 280mg./100ml.                          205mg./100ml. Renal: Blood Urea Nitrogen                                                               8 – 20 mg./l00ml.                                 11mg./100ml. Urinalysis: Grossly amber and clear. Specific gravity: 1.015. pH: 5.5; albumin: negative; glucose: negative; acetone: negative. Microscopic: WBC/HPF – 0-2 RBC/HPF – 0-1 No casts seen. Amorphous urates (moderate amount) present.


    1. Summary of Positive Findings
      1. History of chronic alcoholism and heavy smoking.
      2. Recent photophobia.
      3. Hepatomegaly, with ruddy complexion with malar telangiectasia.
      4. Effects of smoking: tobaccco-stained teeth, injected posterior pharynx, and basilar rales.
      5. Abnormal liver function studies: Bilirubin elevated in both direct and indirect fractions; elevated alkaline phosphatase; decreased albumin and elevated globulin (reversed A/G ratio).
    1. Discussion and Creditability Score

The subject has definite changes of early alcoholic cirrhosis. At this point in time the toxic effects of his liver pathology would be expected to be exerting only a mildly adverse influence on overall central nervous system functioning. Such effects, however, would serve to aggravate any already existing neurological and/or psychological problems. Creditability Score 75%.



  1. Neuro-ophthalmologic Evaluation
    1. “Eye” History

Subject denies previous history of transient blindness, blurred vision, double vision, spots or shadows before his eyes or protracted pain in his eyes. His last eye evaluation was 20 years ago. This was during high school and was prompted by headaches when reading. Reading glasses were prescribed at that time and he wore them for approximately eight months and then discarded them. He denies any eye problems since that time. He states that both his parents wore glasses only for reading and that none of his siblings wear glasses. He states also that his father developed glaucoma at age 55 and was required to use eye drops to keep it under control. There is no history of trauma or infection in the past five years. On questioning, the patient acknowledges a mildly irritating tearing which he has noticed for six to eight weeks, associated with a slight mistiness of his vision. He also has been wearing sunglasses on bright days for the same period because the sunlight hurts his eyes.

    1. Qualitative Ophthalmologic Examination

Subject is right eye dominant. There is no evidence of structural abnormality, trauma, or ptosis (see photo in Section III C 1). The palpebral fissure is of normal shape and size. The cornea is clear bilaterally but the conjunctivae show a moderate degree of injection, without discoloration. The sclerae are also clear without abnormal vessels or pigmentation. The iris is bilaterally brown. The pupils are symmetrically round, equal, and both 4mm. in diameter. They reacted to light sluggishly and responded to accommodation directly and consensually (see Fig. #l). The extra-ocular muscles function normally. There is no image separation upon red glass testing. There was no nystagmus either horizontally or vertically. Funduscopic examination reveals a poor red reflex bilaterally. There are no apparent floaters or other opacities in the vitreous. The disc shows sharp margins bilaterally but the normal physiologic cupping is absent. There is a pale quality to the nerve head. Both retinae show a confluent mottling which completely obscures the macula. There are no hemorrhages or exudates. The arteriovenous ratio is approximately 5 to 1. Gross confrontation shows no apparent field cuts and no extinction to bimanual visual stimuli.

    1. Quantitative Neuro-ophthalmologic Investigation
      1. Photographs of exterior eyes (gross):

(Taken with a Zeiss 1.5 F. lens from 15 cm. using stroboscopic lighting). The conjunctival injection is visible; the absence of pigmentation, the state of the pupils, and the axis of the eyes are clearly visible.




    1. Goniometry: The intraocular pressures have been measured with a Schioetz Tonometer. The readings were taken three times, on 19 November 1967, at 10:30 AM (two days after the subject had seen the light).

Right Eye

Left Eye










    1. These consistently normal pressures would dictate against the presence of glaucoma.
    2. Visual Acuity: Using the modified Snellen Charts, the right eye showed an acuity of 20/30 and the left eye of 20/35.
    3. Color Vision: (Measured with the American Optical Pseudoisochromatic Plates in 60 footcandles of light): moderate red-green dyschromanopsia was revealed about which the patient claimed he had no previous awareness.




    1. The fundus photos were taken with a Zeiss fundus camera containing a built-in stroboscopic light source. The pupils were dilated with 1% Neo-Synephrine. The previously noted defects of absent cupping, mottled retinitis, and arteriovenous disproportion are readily documented in these photos.



    1. Perimetry was performed with a Matalene hand perimeter, using both a white (5mm.) and red (5mm.) test object. The patient was tested both at 50 and 10 footcandles of illumination. The fields show bilateral

Perimetry Diagram, Right Eye


Perimetry Diagram, Left Eye



  centrocecal scotomata larger for the red object than for the white. There is a superior temporal quadrant defect bilaterally of approximately 30° with the red object stimulus which is not present with the white object. In reduced illumination the subject is completely unable to see any of the test objects.

    1. Ophthalmodynomometry was performed with a Cuilbert-Routit dynomometer (using 1% Pontocaine anesthetic) with direct vision of the end point O.D.: 70/30 units; O.S.: 65/30 units. There were no carotid bruits or thrills; the simultaneous systemic blood pressure was 140/80 sitting and 130/80 standing.
    2. Opticokinetics (using a one meter by ten centimeter red background cloth with a 10 cm X 8 cm. white check) was performed at a distance of one meter horizontally bilaterally and vertically. The nystagmus response in all directions was normal.
    1. Summary of Positive Findings
      1. A history of 6-8 weeks of tearing, misty vision, and photophobia.
      2. A pale optic nerve with absent cupping; sluggishly reacting pupils; impaired red light reflex.
      3. Confluent retinal mottling, obscured macula, mild red-green dyschromanopsia.
      4. Bilateral centrocecal scotomata; bilateral superior temporal quadrantanopsia (for red stimulus only. Vision in decreased light (10 foot-candles): grossly impaired to absent.
    2. Discussion and Creditability Score

The definite retinitis, field defects for red vision, and red-green dyschromanopsia, along with a history of tearing, misty vision, and photophobia are all consistent with the diagnosis of tobacco-alcohol amblyopia (Ref. 1). This condition is also supported by the findings in the General Medicine Evaluation, where other effects of excessive smoking and alcoholism are evident. The subject’s retinal pathology is severe; in terms of the specific event he claims he saw, it is extreme. His “sighting” is highly unlikely because he attaches both color and shape to it in the face of specific deficiencies in each of these areas. His attestation about seeing the object best when looking straight at it (see Psychiatric Anamnesis) is uncreditable because his central macular vision has been so severely compromised by retinitis. It is conceivable that what actually happened is that he 1) received a transient visual stimulus (i.e., car or airplane lights) which 2) set off some abnormal receptor firing in a damaged retinal area and 3) in turn was misperceived. Creditabillty score 5%.   Ref. 1 Walsh, P.B.: Clinical Neuro-ophthalmology, Williams & Wilklna, Baltimore 1957, p. 1182.



  1. Neurologic Evaluation
    1. Neurologic History:

Subject is right-handed and denies any degree of ambidextry. He denies periods of euphoria, uncontrolled behavior or delirium. He denies recent changes or difficulty with dressing, eating, or writing. He states that he does not feel that he has recently become clumsy or weak. He said he had never had the experience of deja-vu episodes or of performing acts over which he had no control and no unpleasant tastes or odors that he couldn’t explain. He states that he is not aware of any increased difficulty in expressing himself or understanding the speech of others. He has no problem with calculation or with seeing objects as smaller or larger than they really were. He is not aware of any difficulty with color vision, flashing lights, or other forms of visual hallucinations. He admits to headaches which occur after he has been drinking heavily; these have been decreasing in frequency. He states that he has never lost consciousness (with associated tongue biting, incontinence, or period of confusion upon awaking). He denies trauma or infections of his head, eyes, ears, or neck.

    1. Neurologic Examination:

Mental Status: See Section V (Psychiatric Evaluation). Cerebellar Function: Finger-to-nose and heel-to-shin intact; rapid alternating movements are rhythmical and coordinated; no awkwardness or other abnormalities in any gross or fine movements. Foot dexterity and Figure eight test are performed without difficulty. No broad-based gait or ataxia noted. Cranial Nerves: I Olfactory: Each nostril perceived cloves (stimulus was identified with patient’s eyes closed). II Optic Nerve: Reported in detail in Section III (Neuro-ophthalmology). III, IV, VI Nerves: See Section III (Neuro-ophthalmology). V Trigeminal: All sensory divisions are intact to pin prick. The corneal reflex is present bilaterally and equally. The masseter and pterygoid muscles show equal strength of good quality. The jaw jerk is normal. VII Facial Nerve: There is no asymmetry of the resting facial muscles. There is no weakness or asymmetry upon raising the eyebrows, closing or opening the eyes, or showing the teeth. Taste was intact bilaterally for sugar and salt. VIII Acoustic:

    1. Cochlear Portion: Patient perceives normal conversation without difficulty. Weber and Rinne testing show no lateralization. Air conduction is greater than bone conduction.
    2. Vestibular Portion: There is no abnormal nystagmus, past-pointing, or veering when walking.

IX, X Glossopharyngial and Vagus Nerves: The palate is midline and freely movable, with bilaterally equal elevation on stimulation. Gag reflex is intact bilaterally. No difficulty in swallowing and no regurgitation occurred when swallowing water. XI Accessory Nerve: The trapezius and sternocleidomastoid muscles have good strength, without fasciculation, atrophy, and spasm. XII Hypoglossal Nerve: The tongue protrudes in the midline; there is no evidence of atrophy or fasciculation; there is good strength in both directions. There is no difficulty with articulation and no dysarthria.


  Sensory Examination: There is no impairment of vibration sense, position, pain, or light touch. Deep Tendon Reflexes: Pectoral (C6-8): +2 bilaterally Biceps (C5-6): +3 bilaterally Radial Pronator (C6-7): +2 bilaterally Triceps (C7-8): +3 bilaterally Finger Flexion (C7-T1): +2 bilaterally Deep abdominal (T6-12): +2 bilaterally Pubo-adductor (L2-4): +1 bilaterally Patellar (quadriceps) (L2-4): +3 bilaterally Hamstring (sciatic nerve) (L4-S2): +2 bilaterally Ankle jerk (gastrocnemius) (S1-2): +2 bilaterally Gluteal (L4-S2): +2 bilaterally Superficial Reflexes: Plantar reflex; both great toes are unequivocally down-going (flexon). Chaddock, Oppenheim, and Gordon reflexes are also down-going. Superficial Abdominals react equally bilaterally. Motor Function: Good strength both proximally and distally in upper and lower extremities. Wrist flexors and extensors are equal bilaterally; grip is strong bilaterally. Other Cortical Tests: Frontal Lobe: No suck, grasp, snout, or palmomental reflexes. Temporal Lobe: No hemianopsia on confrontation. Parietal Lobe: No stereognosis, bimanual extinction, or impaired 2-point discrimination. Occipital Lobe: See Section III (Neuro-ophthalmology). Autonomic Function: There is no abnormal sweat level and no flushing is in evidence.

    1. Pertinent Laboratory Studies

Normal Value                                       Subject Blood: Calcium                                                                                             9 – 11 mg/100 ml.                                                9.3 mg/100ml. Phosphorous                                                                                     3 – 4.5 mg/100 ml.                               4.0 mg/100ml. Magnesium                                                                                       1.5 – 2.5 mEq./L.                                  1.6 mEq./L. Barbiturates                                                                                      less than l0mm/hr.Wintrobe              18 mm/hr. a) long-acting                                                                                less than 5 mg/100 ml.                       none b) short-acting                                                                               less than 1 mg/100 ml.                       none Dilantin                                                                                              none                                                       none Bromides                                                                                           1 – 2 mEq./L.                                        3 mEq./L. Carbon Monoxide (Carboxyhemoglobin)                                  less than 5%                                         none Urine: Coproporphyrins                                                                             none                                                       none Uroporphyrins                                                                                  none                                                       none Lead                                                                                                   0 – 0.12 mg/24hr.                                 none Arsenic                                                                                               0.1 mg/liter                                            none Mercury                                                                                             10 micrograms/24hr.                          none Salicylates                                                                                         none – 30mg/100ml.                           none Ethyl Alcohol                                                                                   none                                                       none Phenothiazines                                                                                 none                                                       none Alkaloid screening a) atropine                                                                                     none                                                       none b) ergotamine                                                                                none                                                       none Serologic Test: FA-ABS (Fluorescent Treponemal Antibody Absorption Test)                                                           negative                                                 negative Brucella Agglutination                                                                    negative                                                 negative Coccidiomycosis                                                                             negative                                                 negative



    1. Summary of Positive Findings
      1. Optic Nerve changes: (see Neuro-ophthalmologic Evaluation).
      2. Bromides and atropine detected in urine.
    2. Discussion and Creditability Score:

Since the head of the optic nerve (disc) is directly visible for examination, its state is often used as a reflection of the condition of the other nerves. It can be reasonably conjectured that the same metabolic or toxic insults that have produced the abnormal appearance of the subject’s optic nerve are also subtly influencing his other nervous system functioning (even although no gross neurologic signs can be elicited). One likely effect of such changes would be increased irritability and associated behavioral effects. These would also be expected to occur as a result of the bromide or atropine toxicity (associated with the subject’s excessive use of non-proprietary sleeping medication). In this case, the subject’s abnormal liver function (reversed A/G ratio, etc.) increases the danger of such toxicity because of his impaired ability to bind, detoxify, and excrete both bromides and atropine. Hallucinations are among the outstanding toxic effects of both these drugs (Ref. 2). It would thus not be unlikely that the contents of the sleeping pills have not only contributed to the subject’s current psychic disequilibrium but have specifically affected his propensity to “see things”. Creditability score 75% Ref. 2. Walker, S. Psychiatric Signs and Symptoms Due to Medical Problems, C.C. Thomas, Springfield, Ill. 1967.



  1. Psychiatric Evaluation
    1. Anamnesis

The subject was seen for psychiatric evaluation on each of two successive days for one and a half hour interviews. The first interview took place 36 hours after he had seen the luminal object. He is aware of why he is being seen, says he “doesn’t mind a bit”, but feels nervous because he doesn’t know exactly what he will be “expected to tell” about himself. He came to live in the Tucson area 12 years ago because of his widowed mother’s failing health and a doctor’s recommendation that she move from East Boston (where they had always lived) to a drier climate. Since her death 9 years ago, he has carried on alone, at first in their apartment and then in a boarding house where his meals are prepared and his laundry is done for him. Although he is not enthusiastic about his living arrangement, he seems quite proud of his association with a branch of the local bank. In the past five years, he has advanced from assistant bookkeeper to teller to head teller to the banks’ real estate loan section, of which he has been the chief for a week. He says that it was five days after he had assumed this new responsibility that he saw the “odd light in the sky”. He describes the scene as follows: He had been having trouble getting to sleep for two months (doesn’t know why) and this particular night was no exception. Although he had taken several “Sleep-eze” tablets, he still felt edgy and very wide awake at 2:30 AM. So he got up from bed to get a cigarette and a shot of bourbon. He then sat facing his closed window and gazing out, preoccupied, for about half an hour. He remembers everything seemed very still and quiet but can’t recall what he was thinking about. About 3 AM he became vaguely aware of a new light near the mountains off to his left (northeast). It seemed to be moving toward his direct line of vision and as it did so became increasingly vivid. The light was a diffuse, pale, yellow-green color. It seemed very large (twenty to thirty times the size of an airplane at the same distance) and its shape was like that of a humped disc that was flat at the bottom. At times, it seemed to be hardly moving at all, at others it bobbed up and down as if from a breeze. He felt peculiarly drawn to it and seemed unable to avoid looking at it. When he tried to glance to either side of it, the disc seemed to fade, and he felt almost as though his direct gaze was the only thing holding it there. At the same time, he felt almost as though he were being called upon by it to stare. Afterwards, upon reflecting, he decided that it was the unusual nature of the object that had created these peculiar feelings in him. After a couple of minutes it seemed less bright and looked like it was beginning to move away. At that point he felt as though he wanted to follow it. By the time it had completely faded away, he felt a little sad, lonely, hopeless, or something, he’s not sure which. It never occurred to him to call anyone else’s attention to the light (probably because of the late hour, he says) and he was surprised to be asked about that by the police the next day. He says, however, that anyone in the city who was looking in a northeasterly direction at the right time that


  night couldn’t have missed that light. Although it was an unusual sight, it seemed very real to him and is still very vivid in his mind. He had never seen anything like it before and in fact had never previously had the occasion to report anything whatever to the police. He says that the only reason he had reported seeing the light was a sense of duty, after he had read in the morning paper that someone else had also seen an unusual object in the sky on the same night. The patient was the youngest male and third youngest child among seven siblings born in Boston into a lower class urban situation, during the Depression. His father, Irish by heritage, was an occasional bartender who was rarely home, paid little attention to his children, and is best remembered as “scary” because of his violently angry outbursts at the mother when he had been drinking. The patient’s early memories include 1) a scene in which his forlorn-looking mother is bending over a tub scrubbing clothes in an icy cold kitchen and 2) an episode in which his oldest sister snatched his doll away from him but was later made by the mother to return it. It is that same sister whom he now visits during his vacations; she is married but childless and still lives in Boston. He would like to live permanently with her, if her husband were better dispositioned. His other sisters all have children, and it makes him nervous to be around them. He says he always got along better with his sisters than his brothers and has not kept in touch with any of the latter. He has never had many friends; even as a boy, he was a “loner” and a “homebody” who was more than once called a “mamma’s boy” by his peers. He didn’t involve himself in school athletics or neighborhood games because he seemed to be so clumsy, but did sell newspapers in another part of the city for several years for the sake of the family budget. His leisure hours were spent reading and re-reading old comic books, making up stories about his adventures with Ali (a make-believe playmate from whom he was inseparable until he was 12), and helping his mother in various ways. It is still difficult for him to talk about his dead mother, although he says he thinks about her all the time. Painfully, he revealed that he feels he was never a good enough son to her, that he had wanted to make up to her for all her hardships at the hands of his father but that he had never been able to fill a certain void for her (despite his long-term devotion and protectiveness). He tends to blame himself in a sense for her death and says that it is his fault that she spent her final days so unhappily far away from all her other children; apparently, he had insisted that she follow her doctor’s advice and took her west for the sake of her “asthma” condition. She had died on her seventieth birthday. He didn’t know the cause. He had come home and found her on the floor of their Tucson apartment near the phone (which was off the hook). It had been 7 PM when he had arrived, having stopped for a couple of drinks at the neighborhood bar. He says he still gets sick to his stomach when he thinks about how he was sitting in that bar while she was dying and trying to reach him. He remained in Boston, unemployed, for six months after the funeral, during which time he slept a lot, ate little, and hit the bars more often than usual. By the time he could bring himself to face Tucson and the apartment again, he had lost his accounting job.


  For three months, he worked as a grocery store clerk (in order to pay his angry landlady for accumulated rent) but found the work intolerably fatiguing and took a switchboard job which he did for the three years prior to going to the bank. His bank work record has apparently been very good. He has taken only two sick days in the entire five years and is never late. Frequently, he wakes up in the morning feeling as though he can’t make it to work, but his respect for and sense of responsibility to the institution itself (rather than to any superior or individual person) always win out. He has no close friends where he works, although he occasionally takes lunch with one of the younger male tellers. His female co-workers irritate him; they seem coarse and loud. Some of the single women tease him about having a mistress (which he doesn’t), but he doesn’t know where they got that idea. In fact, he doesn’t date at all and hasn’t for several years now. He guesses it’s because he doesn’t seen to come in contact with women who are his type (sweet, quiet, feminine). Nor does he seek out partners for intercourse. With considerable embarrassment, he explains that while he was in the Army 13 years ago, he had tried on three separate occasions to have sexual relations with a girl he liked but had been unable to sustain an erection. Part of the problem at the time seemed to be a preoccupation with his mother and how disappointed she would be in him if she knew what he was doing with this girl. Since then, he has not tried to have intercourse again. He says it is not because he is afraid of failure or embarrassment, but more because for him it is a dispensable activity. The closest he ever gets to a woman is the back row in a local bar where he likes to watch the performance of a certain belly dancer (his mother was half Syrian). He doesn’t know her personally, but something about her arouses him. Whenever he masturbates in his room (approximately once a week), he pictures her face and upper torso in his mind’s eye; at the same time, he imagines himself removing her round, plastic, chartreuse nipple covers, which seems to be the one thing that will lead to his having an occasional ejaculation. He has felt very upset with himself for masturbating ever since he first did it at the age of 16. This examiner and his old Army buddy are the only people to whom he has ever acknowledged any such activity. He says he still cannot help but feel that it is an unnatural, perverted practice. Sometimes he wonders whether he is driven to it by a hormone problem or whether it is because of a mental sickness of some kind. He used to think that he would not ever be fit to touch a woman if he masturbated. He says he has never been involved in any homosexual activity, although his Army buddy had once suggested it to him. His leisure hours are spent watching TV in the bar or in his room, going to movies, either alone or with someone at the boarding house, and reading an occasional magazine story. He likes to sunbathe on his porch on the weekends. He says that he still enjoys making up adventure stories and keeps adding to an on-going serial in which he is the only person living in a desert oasis where he gets into various predicaments and is rescued and nursed back to health by lovely, gracious women who happen to pass by. He never dreams, he says, and doesn’t think he ever has.


  He says he rarely gets angry because he doesn’t like the feeling. Once a man in a bar began saying insulting things to him, unprovoked, and then took a swing at him but the bartender had intervened. He was just plain scared in that situation and relieved when the tension had abated. A long time ago he had felt like hitting his brother-in-law when the latter had said something or other cruel to his sister (but instead had walked out of hearing range). He had felt intensely, inexplicably angry for several days at age 16 when his father died of a stroke; he remembers wishing he could destroy everything in sight by kicking and pounding it to pieces. He doesn’t see himself as particularly depressed and has no suicidal thoughts, although he acknowledges that after his mother’s death, he wished he could have died with her or instead of her. He never has fantasized actively taking his own life, however, and feels it would be very wrong to do so. He does say he feels nervous a lot, especially in the last two months and that certain things upset him more than they used to. For example, noisy laughter at work or in a bar is so unpleasant lately that he usually tries to find an excuse to leave the room. He feels increasingly impatient, particularly in waiting lines, and says he has jumped from smoking one to two packages of cigarettes a day. For the first time in his life he finds himself wishing he could take a whiskey break in the middle of the work day; he then gets preoccupied with the taste of whiskey and with thoughts of how good swallowing it would feel. After work, he always stops by a certain bar near the house and has from two to five quiet bourbon and waters before returning home. Now, he stays longer at the bar and arrives at the boarding house well past the dinner hour. This is because he isn’t hungry, usually, is sick of the food, and finds the commotion at the dinner table disturbing. He does feel he is treated with more respect and deference at the boarding house than he needs or deserves. About his insomnia, he says simply that one pill helped until about a month ago but that lately he has been taking four or five over a two-hour period with no appreciable effect. He claims he has no notion as to why he should be feeling on edge for these two months, but in the next breath he begins to talk about his bank boss’s interest in acquainting him with his daughter. He uncomfortably describes a scene at the last Labor Day picnic in which the boss brought his daughter around to meet him and then walked off, leaving him stranded with her for the rest of the afternoon. Thereafter, some of the people at the bank had teased him about his secret romance with her (which was non-existent). He senses that his boss now seems less friendly, although the older man made no known attempt to stop his promotion. He has no desire to advance any further up the bank totem pole, says he never expected to do even this well, and would be more than satisfied with his present post for the duration of his working days (though he really liked doing bookkeeping better). In addition to the information already mentioned, his developmental history has the following other significant points: he was breast fed for nearly two years because his mother couldn’t afford to buy store milk. Toilet training was completed by age 15 months, but he was enuretic from age two until he was nine. The boys in school found out about it and nicknamed him “Pee-pee”.


  Although he was generally unpopular among his schoolmates, he did very well academically, especially in mathematics. He skipped the third and seventh grades, was first in his boys’ parochial high school class and received a full-tuition scholarship to Boston College, where he took business administration courses. He never was one to participate in extracurricular activities, but always maintained a part-time job and gave his entire earnings to his mother. He does not see himself as particularly religious but is faithful in his Mass attendance. He does not expect to ever have a vision, mostly because he believes himself to be too mediocre a Christian. Twice after his mother’s death he thought he heard her calling to him in the night and is still not sure that she didn’t. He has no opinions about UFO’s; although it interests him to read about them, he knows no one who has ever seen one. In part because of the nature of his description of the light in the sky (and his associated feelings), the examiner was alerted to his description of the belly dancer’s chartreuse nipple coverlets, which apparently have significant meaning for him. Attempts to subtly pursue possible connection here reveal the following: The subject’s recent anxiousness had begun at about the tine he learned he was to be promoted, ever since which he had felt lonelier than ever before and once again very desperate about the loss of his mother. He comments that he thinks his mother would have been very pleased and proud of his success at work, that it would have given her something about which to hold up her head again. It also would have meant (were she still alive) that he could provide nicer living quarters for them both. Now that she is dead, however, such improvements are unimportant; he feels they would be wasted on himself alone. Along with this loneliness, he acknowledges feeling empty. He says he can’t get excited about anything (not even the belly dancer) although he feels extremely tense and has tried more often lately to get some relief via masturbation. He has been thinking about his mother so much he acknowledges that her image gets confused with that of the belly dancer, even when he tries to concentrate just on the latter’s nipple covers.

    1. Mental Status Examination

General Behavior and Appearance: The subject presents himself as a well-groomed man of medium build. His dark brown hair is moderately long with side burns and a small neatly trimmed mustache. He is dressed in a white shirt, tie, and conservative dark blue suit; his shoes are polished. He sat with head down and steadily smokes throughout the interview. He expresses himself generally well without excessive gestures. He was initially ill at ease and mildly defensive with the interviewer but became more comfortable as the session progressed. He was cooperative and he gave the impression of wishing to be highly candid. Stream of Talk: There is no evidence of blocking or unusual difficulty in choosing words. His vocabulary was moderately well-developed. The subject speaks in a slightly monotonous manner but his speech is halting at only two points (when he spoke about feeling guilty about his mother and about masturbating). He uses no neologisms, rhymes, or puns. There was no evidence of flight of ideas or clang [sic] associations. There is no stuttering, dysarthria, or mispronunciation; he is able to repeat four tongue twisters without difficulty.


  Mood: The patient appears to be moderately depressed) his posture is slightly slumped, his expression often dejected, and he sighs frequently. His general affect borders on being flat but is not otherwise inappropriate. He fails to show any enthusiasm about anything, claims he has no special interests or hobbies. He seems basically apathetic about both his present and future life. Although constricted but not highly controlled, his anxiety is poorly masked when he talks about conflictual material and certain feelings. Thought Content: Subject is generally guarded about what and how much he says. When put under some stress by the examiner (during a period when he was less defensive), his associations became briefly mildly loose. His usual preoccupations center around certain guilt feelings, a yearning for his dead mother, and (more recently) the desire for whiskey. Although obviously depressed, he denies suicidal preoccupation. He does tend to ruminate about any teasing from women, but there is no evidence of any kind of paranoid ideation. The content of his day-dreams and masturbatory fantasies are described in the anamnesis (see previous section). The impression that his gaze was somehow holding the odd light in place in the sky is the only evidence suggesting that he has ever felt he had any special powers. Prior to seeing that light, he apparently never experienced a deja vu, or any illusory or definite hallucinatory phenomenon (see anamnesis regarding hearing dead mother’s voice). Rituals, obsessional thoughts per se are denied, except for his recent, uncontrollable preoccupation at night with his dead mother. He acknowledges a definite fear of flying (to the point that he has never set foot in an airplane) and is also afraid of heights. Orientation: Subject is fully oriented as to time, person, and place. Previous amnesia and disorientation (place and time, only) have occurred only acutely following heavy drinking bouts. Intellectual Status: Attention is consistently well-sustained. Memory (in which there has been no known change in recent years) is generally above average. There was no inconsistent historical data which would indicate his remote memory, or intermediate memory, or recent memory as being confabulation or perseveration. His 24-hour recall is without disparities after several recountings, and immediate recall is normal (he can repeat 6 digits forward and 5 digits backward). Two hours after presentation, he could remember all four test objects (a pencil, key, blotter, and the color yellow). Simple calculations (multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction) were done accurately, serial 7’s (from 100-0) were done somewhat slowly but without any errors. General comprehension is at least average; he was able to repeat the “cowboy story” with only four minor mistakes. His proverb interpretation (with six proverbs) [were] done very hesitantly but were adequately abstracted. Judgment: There is no gross impairment in this area (as evidenced by responses to hypothetical questions) but the interview suggests a mild limitation, particularly in relation to social situations. Insight: The subject is not psychologically minded and seems to be both unable and disinclined to understand the sources of his current anxiety, insomnia, and general despair. He did communicate a considerable amount of useful psychiatric data but, in the process of so doing, seemed very unaware of how much he was saying about himself and his feelings.







    1. Summary of Positive Findings: Psychiatric Evaluation and Character Assessment (with supportive data).

Mr. McC. is an oral character who shows a moderately severe passive-dependent life style. This is evidenced by the direction of his relationships (mother-equivalents) and his drinking habits, as well as the content of his fantasies. He is also a withdrawn chronic depressive in acate exacerbation. There may be an underlying endogenous element to his depression but it appears to be primarily reactive and related to the death of his mother. All the psychiatric evidence points to the event of 17 November 1967, as an acute illusory phenomenon in which his regressed oral yearning for his mother was symbolically represented in the “light”. That the object took the color and shape that it did (like the nipple covers) further demonstrates his all-pervasive oral fixation.

    1. Discussion and Creditability Score.

The subject’s retinal pathology is such that he could not have accurately perceived on direct gaze a greenish, luminous disc in the sky. It may well be that the initial stimulus for his “vision” was a distant light which then was grossly distorted by both his abnormal retina and his highly disturbed emotional state. Creditability score 5%.

  1. Integration of Findings and Composite Assessment of Central Nervous System Functioning
    1. Discussion and Creditability Score

Without the benefit of the results of this medical evaluation, one would probably be inclined to view Mr. McC. as a highly creditable observer. In favor of such an impression are 1) his respectable bank position, 2) his general demeanor (which is very appropriate and does not suggest attention-seeking or his actual psychiatric problems), 3) his claim to seeming good health and 4) the nature and quality of his report of the “light” observed event to the police. However, on evaluation it was discovered that he was an early alcoholic cirrhotic who was suffering from early occult alcohol-tobacco amblyopia such that he could not have perceived the detailed colored nocturnal event he thought he had seen. What had actually occurred was the first major hallucinatory experience of his life. In a twilight state, his eye first perceived some kind of stimulus from the night time sky which was then transformed into a rather magnificent symbolic representation of his unconscious wishes and underlying character pathology. The episode occurred when it did because of the subject’s state of psychic decompensation. His resistance to a transient hallucinatory experience was lowered by 1) his currently agitated depressed state 2) the adverse effects of toxins (from drugs and liver) on his central nervous system and 3) the visual distortions produced by his diseased eyes. The entire clinical picture is best explained in terms of the subject’s passive-oral-dependent character pathology which is intimately related not only to his acute emotional state but is the underlying source of his physical problems (i.e., alcoholic liver and retina, drug toxicity). This case is thus a good example of multifactorial influences on observer creditability which, in this instance, can be integrated in terms of an underlying source. Overall observer creditability score 5%.




In order to translate the results of an extensive, multidisciplinary medical evaluation into a handy estimate of observer creditability, a percentage-evaluation scoring method has been devised. These “probability of creditability” scores are mainly intended to serve the non-medical expert. They are numerical statements reflecting the level and quality of observational ability and are based on all the obtained findings relative to central nervous system integrity. The scores will be presented in conjunction with (not in place of) summaries of the results of each part of the medical assessment (i.e., medical, neurological, neuro-ophthalmological, and psychiatric) of an individual observer. A composite score will also be offered to suggest the overall level of observational creditability. This final score is based on careful scrutiny, extrapolation, and interpretative integration of all the findings at hand, as they would be expected to influence (in a highly multifactorial way) any reported observations. The nature and extent of an individual’s abnormalities will thus be reflected in his creditability score(s), a scale for which has been set up as follows:

Degree of Impairment

Creditability Score











The scores wlll be variably useful, depending on their applicability to the situation in question. It is expected that they will be helpful in the screening and selection of candidates for observational jobs (i.e., predictive evaluations). They will usually be more reliable as measures of creditability, however, when they are part of a retrospective evaluation that is being done on an individual who has already reported a particular event. This is because the examiner-scorer is able to avail himself of specific observational material on which to “zero in” and check out, including occasional clues to physical and psychological pathology. In those instances where there are different stories from several individuals who report having witnessed the same event, the value of the creditability scoring can be further demonstrated for sorting out conflicting data. It is readily acknowledged that this scoring method is somewhat arbitrary. Its reliability and reproducibility will depend largely on the sophistication and the abilities of the scorer. It is essential that the physician doing these studies have 1) a high-level working knowledge of the four specialties involved, that he 2) be specifically well-informed in the pertinent interdisciplinary material related to observational phenomena, and that he 3) be adept in the matter of investigating, synthesizing, interpreting, and finally applying the ramifications of his “pure” medical findings to observational situations. It is further recommended that 4) he himself be thoroughly checked out as a creditable observer, since this proposed method [of] assessing observers rests heavily on the physician’s own ability to make accurate observations and sound judgments. It is probably true that, at this point in time, there are few men in medicine who are adequately trained to do this multispecialty kind of assessment. This is a remediable situation, however, once the projected need for such professional preparation has been recognized and established.



Biographical Sketch for Dr. Sydney Walker, III

July 22, 1968

  Sydney Walker III, M.D. is a 36 year old neuropsychiatrist who was born in Chicago, raised in Pasadena, did undergraduate study at UCLA, followed by graduate work in physiology and pharmacology, and received his medical training at Boston University School of Medicine. Following some neurosurgical training, he did university residencies in both psychiatry and neurology. He has contributed numerous articles in both these specialties and is the author of a recently published book, Psychiatric Signs and Symptoms due to Medical Problems, Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, Illinois, 1967. His interest in neuro-opthalmology has been more recent and has emerged from his research in connection with the preparation of another monograph, The Neuropsychiatric Evaluation of the Eye Witness (to be published in late 1968).



Reprints of




by Robert M. L. Baker, Jr.




  The Journal of the Astronautical Sciences Vol. XV, No. 1, pp. 31-36 Jan.-Feb., 1968

Observational Evidence of Anomalistic Phenomena 1

Robert M. L. Baker, Jr.2

Abstract A summary of the data obtained from a series of analyses and experiments, which were initially carried out by the author under the auspices of Douglas Aircraft Company and based upon movie film containing anomalistic data, originally provided by the United States Air Force, is presented. It is concluded that, on the basis of the photographic evidence, the images cannot be explained by any presently known natural phenomena. On the other hand, the quality of the images is insufficient to determine the nature of the anomalistic phenomena recorded on the movie film. Introduction Two anomalistic unidentified flying objects (UFO’s) were sighted and later photographed at about 11:30 a.m. Mountain Standard Time on August 15, 1950, by Nicholas Mariana at Great Falls, Montana. Mr. Mariana owned and operated a radio station in Missoula, Montana, and was the owner of the Great Falls baseball team. All of the soft-data (eye witness reports of Mr. Mariana and his secretary) indicated that the objects were silvery in appearance with a notch or band at one point on their periphery and could be seen to rotate in unison, hover, and then “… with a swishing sound, floated away to the left (SW) …” The hard data from the film showed inarticulate bright white dots. Figure 1 shows the manner in which the diameter of the bright dots decreased with time. The objects passed behind a water tower and are exhibited in Fig. 2, along with the associated frame number (the frames below 65 exhibited no foreground). According to Mariana, 35 of the earlier frames, allegedly lost by the Air Force, showed a larger image, complete with a “rotating notch.” Figure 2 was constructed from iconolog measurements (a film viewer with movable cross hairs and a digitalized coordinate output) using the foreground reference points marked (3), (5), and (6). This figure is drawn like a panorama on the assumption that the photographer kept his stance without moving appreciably (which was reported by him and was well borne out by the consistence [sic] of his perspective). These initial measurements were made by the author at Douglas Aircraft Company in 1955-1956. Analysis The “Montana” film contains six independent data (as functions of time) on about 225 frames (frames 65 to 290), which describe the UFO images, i.e., the two degrees of freedom of each dot (as depicted on two-dimensional film after the foreground appears on frame 65) and the apparent diameter of the developed image of each on all 290 frames (no ellipticity could be seen in the images except for occasional image smear due to uneven panning). In the analysis it was convenient to treat the UFO’s as a system. The four degrees of freedom chosen for this system were the azimuth and altitude of the midpoint on the line of centers between the images, their angular separation and their inclination to the horizon. The inclination to the horizon was found to be very small, the objects appearing to move almost in a plane parallel to the ground. There is a slight decrease in the angle of inclination as the objects regress, but its small value is almost masked by random errors inherent in the measurements. Figure 3a presents a plot of the angular altitude, h, and the azimuth, A, of the midpoint of the line of centers after frame 65 (i.e., after a measurable foreground appears), and Fig. 3b presents the separation distance ratio thetae/theta as a function of time, where thetae is the initial angular separation (frame 1) and theta is the angular separation at any given time. In both of these plots some frames were not measured, e.g., due to obscuration of the images during water-tower passage, or were missing (there were frames missing between frame numbers 177 to 180 on the 35 mm print that was measured for separation distance, but these were accounted for in the time scale using the 16 mm original as a basis). About 225 frames after the foreground (ventilator duct) appears on the film (i.e., after the 290th frame), the objects can no longer be clearly identified and measurements become very uncertain. 1 Manuscript submitted November, 1967. Paper was presented at an AAS Seminar at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena. A manuscript on the same subject matter was originally submitted in 1962. The complete review of this earlier manuscript, after receiving three favorable reviews, was accepted. 2 The Senior Scientist of System Sciences Corporation, a subdivision of Computer Sciences Corporation, 690 N. Sepulveda Blvd., El Segundo, Calif. 90245, and the Department of Engineering, UCLA.




Fig. 1. Ratio of time varying value to maximum value of the angular diameters of the images of UFO #1 and UFO #2.


Fig. 2. Motion of unidentified flying objects relative to foreground.

In Figs. 3a and 3b the dotted lines represent what would be the locus of the data points if the objects remained the same linear distance apart and moved linearly in a horizontal plane. The headings, delta, of 169° to 177° are exhibited. All of the data seems to be consistent with a heading of 171°. Of course, one cannot absolutely rule out some other curvilinear motion of the objects. However, any such motion would necessitate the coincidence of azimuth, altitude, and separation, all varying proportionally in some very peculiar fashion to a tolerance of 1%. Figure 4 is a map of Great Falls, Montana, and includes overlays of the UFO system’s motion at various hypothetical distances. (no absolute determination of




Fig. 3a. Motion of UFO system in altitude and azimuth.


Fig. 3b. Separation distance of of UFO system as function of time.

distance can be made on the basis of the angular data presented by the film.) Figure 4 also shows where Mariana and his secretary first viewed the “hovering and rotating” UFO’s near an Anaconda smoke stack. After over a decade of speculation and hypothesis checks, all natural phenomena (e.g., birds, balloons, insects, meteors, mirages, etc.) have been ruled out, except airplane reflections, on the basis of winds (which the weather bureau reported as blowing in the opposite direction); the lack of an observable trail (which would have betrayed a bifurcated meteor); and brightness, angular speed, and steady motion, which could not be reconciled with the supposition that they were birds or insects. These same facts, together with the weather bureau report [1] and the Sun angle, also seemed to rule out various forms of optical lens flare, atmospheric mirages, or cloud reflections. From analyses of speed and geometry, which included a knowledge of the Sun’s azimuth at the time of the photography (as confirmed by the shadows on the film) the images could have been (although not without some stretch of the imagination) specular Sun reflection from airplane fuselages. This explanation seemed attractive since it was rumored (although not verified [2]) that two jet airplanes (F-94’s) were landing at Malmstrom Air Force Base at the approximate time of the sighting. This rumor was reinforced by a presentation by E. J. Ruppelt to a panel of experts in January, 1953 (the panel’s membership was not revealed) but may have been called the “Robertson panel” [4]). Ruppelt [5] indicates “the intelligence officer at Great Falls had dug through huge stacks of files and found that only two airplanes, two F-94’s, were near the city (Great Falls) during the sighting and that they had landed about two minutes afterwards. … First we studied the flight paths of the two F-94’s. We knew the landing pattern that was being used on the day of the sighting and we knew when the two F-94’s landed. The two jets just weren’t anywhere close to where the two UFO’s had been.” Figure 4 bears this conclusion out since the objects were in the opposite direction from Malmstrom Air Force Base and headed away from the air field. The panel, however, did not consider this as positive proof for eliminating the jet-plane hypothesis. Experiment Using a camera similar to Mariana’s (Revere turret type with a 3″ focal length telephoto lens), a series of photographic experiments were carried out by the author on an array of objects (see Figure 6-22 on page 321 of reference [3]) at various distances and Sun angles and on jet plane reflections. The results of these experiments, however, made the hypotheses of airplane reflections quite strained. The long persistence of the images would have required the airplanes to have moved on a unique parabolic path with Mariana at the focus. Unfortunately, these hypothetical parabolic paths would be incompatible with the 171° heading defined by the data. In addition, the apparent size of the images (admittedly




Fig. 4. Map of Great Falls, Montana, including hypothetical UFO paths.


  enhanced by flaring, halation, adjacency effects, etc.) is also not compatible with the photographic experiments, since planes close enough to give rise to the images shown on the film clip would also exhibit some airplane structure as shown in Figure 6-24, page 323 of reference [3] in which the airplane images are of a size and brightness comparable to that of the unknowns. This figure is a blow-up of a 16 mm frame from a camera of the same type as Mariana’s, with the same stop setting and 3″ telephoto lens. During the experimental filming, relative Sun angle, weather, etc., were the same as that reported by Mariana and verified by the Montana film itself, except that the jets were on a different heading — not 171° — in order to obtain optimal Sun reflections. The jet planes shown in the figure were at a distance of 2.5 miles and their structure exhibited angular dimensions of about 4 by 1 milliradians, whereas their elliptical, Sun-reflection flare image exhibited angular dimensions of about 6 by 1.4 milliradians. Upon close inspection, the flare included a roughly circular bright nucleus and a comet-like “tail” of lesser brightness about 4.4 milliradians long. This comet-like Sun flare, which is not exhibited on the Montana film, is also generally characteristic of airplane-fuselage Sun reflections having approximately the same brightness as the Montana film objects. Even with the larger comet-like flare, the jets photographed during the photographic experiment are clearly identifiable. Finally, airplanes at the limiting distance for resolution of structure (over 6.5 miles), with the 3″ telephoto lens used, would have to have been traveling at speeds in excess of the capability of the F-94’s (above 600 mph [6] in order to have been compatible with the angular rates of the images displayed on the film. At 6.5 miles a typical 50 foot airplane (such as an F-94) subtends angles of 1.5×0.4 milliradians or 5½ by 1¼ minutes of arc. The resolving power of the eye is from 1 to 3 minutes of arc (the Moon is about 30 minutes of arc in angular diameter). The actual resolving power of the camera used by Mariana (with the 3″ telephoto lens and set at f/22) is from 2/3rds to one minute of arc even though its theoretical resolving power (exclusive of aberrations) is on the order of 2/3rds of a minute of arc (0.19 milliradians). Thus, theoretically, and as borne out by the author’s experiments, the F-94’s would have been identifiable even at 6.5 miles. The (0.8) (1.51) = 1.2 milliradians fuzzy image (as depicted on the film for UFO #1) would have somewhat obscured an airplane structure at this distance; but the structure would still have been recognizable. The angular (azimuthal) velocity of the objects was found to be 0.019, 2 radians/second. Equipped with the knowledge of the focal length and frame speed (16 frames per second) of Mariana’s camera and the foreground during the filming, the transverse component of the velocity of the objects can be correlated to their height above the local terrain (3,312 ft) and distances from the observer (for the objects when they first appear on the film). Since only angular distances from one station are available for measurement, their actual range cannot be determined. On the other hand, Table I can be constructed on the basis of a variety of hypothetical ranges. The measurements of the diameter of the developed images presented in Fig. I are the least accurate of all the data because of the smallness of the dimension and the fuzziness of the images. The image of any brilliant light source as seen by either the eye or a camera can appear much larger than the source itself. This fact had obvious bearing on the analysis of the


Hypothetical Ranges, Heights, and Speeds

SPEED (mph)

Range                    Height                    Transverse            at 171°   for Optimal           COMMENTS (Miles)                    (feet)                                                      heading  Sun Reflection

0.5                         690                              552                     642                                      Upper limit to bird speed; but birds would  have been resolved. 3

2                        2,730                          1572                  1972        3822                     Usual F-94 speed in a landing pattern is 130 to 190 mph; but would have been  resolved.

6.5                        8,860                          4702                  6002         1,140                    Maximum (dive) F-94 speed is 602 mph;  but would have been resolved.

563              950,000 (290 km)         39,000                                                                  Low-speed meteors 7; but would not be detected at this range on a bright day. Atmosphere too thin above 100 km for bolides or fireballs.

2,260       5,610,000 (1,710 km)       156,000                                                                 High-speed Meteors 7; but would not be detected at this range on a bright day.  Atmosphere too thin above 100 km forbolides or fireballs.  

1Above the observer — Add 3,312 ft. for absolute altitude.

2Includes 20 mph component of head winds.

3Ducks, etc. would be flapping or swooping and would not appear like the objects on the film at any distance.


  film and motivated the photographic experiment conducted by the author during December, 1955. December, rather than August, was chosen due to the lower latitude of Los Angeles relative to Great Falls and because of the unique (smogless) visibility during the course of the experiment. The experiment was devised in order to obtain empirical information on the effect of distance, lens focal length, iris stop, frame speed, etc., in the photographic images of various small bright sources of reflected sunlight; some 118 combinations of these variables were examined. The experimental results appeared to indicate that if the first few frames of the film show Sun reflections from airplanes, which are optimally oriented with respect to the Sun (not the 171° heading), then the planes would have been on the order of one to three miles distant from the camera. If, however, these first few frames represent images of the reflection from airplanes not quite optimally oriented, then the planes could have been closer. In either event, their structure would also have been visible. The images were found to be much brighter than those that any birds could produce. The brightness of a constant luminosity source, as it recedes from view, gives rise to a photographic image whose diameter varies somewhere between [the] inverse square root of the range to the inverse square of the range. (Ordinarily, however, with the inverse square for images as bright as the Montana objects.) The effects, which account for this uncertainty in image-size vs. range relationship, involve light scattering in the atmosphere, optical aberrations, flaring at the lens surfaces, diffraction, turbidity in the film, reflections off the film backing (halation), and adjacency effects (chemical reactions between over-exposed and underexposed areas on the film). On the basis of Fig. 1, we find a decrease in angular diameter of the first object of about 62%, and the second about 61 %. Under the 171° heading assumption, the initial distance is about 78% less than the final distance (at disappearance). Thus, it would seem that the 171° heading hypothesis is also in agreement with the film images being the result of a constant brightness light source receding from the camera. That is, the inverse square distance decreases some 61%. Because the relationship of the developed image size to source range is not precise and because it is doubtful that we are dealing with constant-luminosity isotropic radiators, the third confirmation «f the 171° heading must be regarded as considerably less precise than the confirmations provided by Figs. 3a and 3b. Conclusions Because of the conflict between every hypothesized natural phenomenon and one or more details of the hard-data, photographic evidence analyzed (in addition to the uncertainty of the soft data, reported accounts (or rumors) of jet aircraft), no clear-cut conclusion as to a natural phenomenon can be made and the anomalistic images, having no real detail, cannot be analyzed further. These unexplainable images, taken alone, do not provide data on mass, shape, size, or linear speed and, indeed like the early single-camera meteor photographs or even like the early examples of attempts at photography through a microscope, are merely unresolved blobs and simply indicate the presence of a phenomenon. In these past, historical instances, supplementary data and equipment improvement were sought after in a systematic fashion even though there was only conjecture as to the exact character of the phenomena. See reference [8]. A number of other films have been viewed by the author, which purport to be UFO’s, and they all seem to exhibit the common quality of poor image definition. This situation is not especially surprising since most of them have been taken with amateur equipment or they were accidentally taken from a great distance by cinetheodolites that were not “tracking” them. Like the Montana film, some of these films definitely cannot be explained on the basis of natural phenomena (others can be “explained” if one stretches one’s imagination). References and Notes

  1. A copy of the local half hourly surface weather observation for August 15, 1950, was obtained from the Great Falls, Montana Municipal Airport Station of the Weather Bureau. It shows that the surface wind increased during the forenoon to readings between 26 and 28 mph between 9 a.m. and noon, and that it reached 37 mph at 12:30. The surface wind direction was constantly from the southwest from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. It was clear (visibility of 60 miles), the temperature was 77°F at 11:27, and the barometer was at about 30.0″.
  2. In November of 1955, an inquiry by phone was directed to Colonel Donald M. Hamilton, Commanding Officer of Malmstrom Air Force Base. He advised us by letter dated November 7, 1955, that “as far as I can determine, there were no jet aircraft based here at that time, so that if any were in the air, they would have been transients.”
  3. Baker, Robert M. L., Jr. & Makemson, M. W., An Introduction to Astrodynamics, Second Edition, (Academic Press, New York, 1967), pp. 319 to 333.
  4. Markowitz, William, letters dated November 10 and December 6, 1967. According to Markowitz the panel consisted of H. L. Robertson, L. Alvarez, L. V. Berkner, S. A. Goudsmit, and T. W. Page.
  5. Ruppelt, E. J., The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects. (Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1956), pp. 286 to 288 and p. 292.
  6. The maximum speed (achieved during a dive) of the F-94 is 602 mph, its landing speed is 130 mph, and its stalling speed is 108 mph.
  7. McKinley, D. W. R., Meteor Science and Engineering, (McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 1961), page 128.
  8. Baker, Robert M. L., Jr., “Future Experiments on Anomalistic Observational Phenomena,” J. Astronaut. Sci. XV, No. 1, January-February, 1968.


  The Journal of the Astronautical Sciences Vol. XV, No, 1, pp. 44 – 45 Jan.-Feb., 1968

Future Experiments on Anomalistic Observational Phenomena

The requirement for additional experiments in the area of anomalistic phenomena is given, based upon the paucity of “hard data”; relevant data collected by astronomers, meteoriticists, and meteorologists, which would be either overlooked or not detected; and the possible “filtering” and/or “editing” out of pertinent data by our various space surveillance systems prior to its evaluation. An experiment involving two cameras slaved to a detection radar is outlined broadly and it is concluded that such a system should be constructed for use in meteoritic, meteorological, astronautical, psychological, and “UFO” study programs. The majority of our astronomical equipment (e.g., conventional photographic telescopes, Baker-Nunn cameras, meteor cameras, Markowitz dual-rate Moon Cameras, etc.) are special-purpose by their very nature and would probably not detect the anomalous luminous phenomenon reported by the casual observer if it were indeed present. Their photographic speed, field of view, etc. put definite limits on their capability to collect data on objects other than those for which they have been specially designed. Even if such data WCPP collected, the recognition of their uniqueness or anomalous character by an experimenter is improbable. Examples abound in celestial mechanics of minor planets being detected on old astronomical plates that had been measured for other purposes and then abandoned. Tombaugh’s discovery of Pluto from rather old astronomical plates in storage is a well-known example. The space surveillance systems are almost programmed to overlook anomalous data. Any hard-data arising from an object or manifestation that did not move on a nearly two-body orbit, had a low radar cross-section, or followed an erratic path would most probably be filtered out of the system by various data-editing, or data-weighting procedures [1], which are inherent in most of our sophisticated space surveillance systems. A representative space surveillance radar may have a beam width of 1/6° for detection and require accurate orbital information good to 0.01° for fine tracking. Needless to say, such radars often miss even well-known spacecraft and would be completely inadequate for “locking-on” to a hypothetical “UFO.” To be sure, advanced radar systems are being developed for our missile defense systems, such as the ALTAR (ARPA Long-range Tracking and Instrumentation Radar), TRADEX (Target Resolution and Discrimination Experiments) and the phased array RESER (Re-entry System Evaluation Radar) system. Although they extend the field of view, they still are developed to filter out anomalous signals. As Cheettam [2] points out, “Power and aperture will be programmed after a learning measurement cycle to conserve and efficiently distribute available energy when and where (reentry) targets are estimated to exist.” Not only are conventional sensors almost insensitive to anomalous data, but observations published by trained scientists, that could be hard-data records of anomalistic phenomena, are often too quickly categorized and then forgotten. The observation by Mohr [3] in a letter to Science in 1966 gave an account of a “most unusual fly” and described a very remarkable and almost bizarre event that might or might not have been ball lightning. The Tunguska event of 1908 may well have been a impacting comet [4] and is usually studied in the context of meteoritics [5], Similarly, the Canadian fireball procession of 9 February 1913 could have been an ephemeral natural satellite of the Earth [6] or it could have been something more involved. In most such cases, and as in also the situation in published UFO studies [7], [8], [10], information-rich hard-data of high quality are rather hard to come by. It therefore suggests itself that a special experimental program is in order. The scientific method usually dictates experiments in the face of anomalous data and, at the moment, there seems to be sufficient unexplained anomalous hard-and-soft data to warrant an experimental program. Several experiments suggest themselves and might include geological studies, searches for scraps of material evidence, psychiatric-medical studies of witnesses, or radar/optical arrays. In broad outline, one recommended experiment would involve a large aperture tracing radar that would slave two cinetheodolite-type optical trackers if and when an anomalous object appeared. The radar “lock-on” and tracking-data-analysis program would be especially designed to avoid satellites and, if possible, common meteors and airplanes, but would, for example, detect comet or macrometeorite entry, ball lightning, and any erratic or anomalous object within its range (a range that would probably be limited to 500 km or less). Thus, the system might at least provide accurate positional information that would provide useful meteoritic data and meteorological data in the absence of more bizarre phenomena. The cameras (preferably using Schmidt-type, Maskutov, or Baker catadioptric type optics and, perhaps, computer-enhanced digitalized pictorial data [11]) would be on a 5 to 10 km base line (the “lock-on” program for the active skin-tracking radar might follow the modified Leuschner differential-correction system suggested on pp. 114 and 115 of reference [1] and the system would need to be reliable enough to operate unattended for weeks at a time. As shown by studies of meteorite and comet flux, such as Hartmann’s [12], Shoemaker and Lowery [13], McCrosky [14], and Lamar’s [5], a waiting period of a year or so is necessary in order to have significant probability of detecting and tracking such natural extraterrestrial objects. The question of the proper geographical location of the experimental site would almost be as important as the specification of the radar/optical and computer/communications complex itself. The meteoriticist would probably prefer an area with good atmospheric seeing and of low population density such as the “… Tucson area…” [15]. The geologist would prefer a location near dry lakes [16] in order to facilitate the possible recovery of meteoritic or other material, or timely study of manifestations of cometary impact or sub-end-point meteoritic debris [17]. The psychiatrist would be concerned with the psychiatric-medical credence levels of eye witness (soft data) associated with any hard data that might be obtained by the experimental array [18] as well as the general psychological analysis of the “… tendency all over the world to believe in saucers and to want them real, …” [19]. Thus, he would tend to prefer a site in a moderate population density area. The physicist interested in ball lightning might wish for a site in which atmospheric electrical disturbances were


  frequent. As Singer noted [20], “The specific properties of ball lightning, which present particular difficulty in experimental duplication, are formations of the sphere in air (at near-atmospheric pressure and at a distance from the source of energy) and its extensive motion. It is evident that additional clarification of both theoretical and experimental aspects of this phenomenon is needed.” Often marsh gas exhibits bizarre observational data and a location near a marsh might be useful in the examination of such phenomena. Clearly, an overall reconcilement of these diverse and interdisciplinary requirements must be accomplished during the site (or, perhaps, sites) selection process. In summary, then, four points are to be made:

  1. That we have not now nor have we been able in the past to achieve a complete or even partially complete surveillance of space in the vicinity of the Earth, which would betray the presence of any anomalistic phenomena.
  2. That so-called hard data on anomalistic observational phenomena do, in fact, exist; but that they are of poor quality due to the equipment employed in obtaining them.
  3. That it follows from the scientific method that an experiment or experiments be devised to define better the anomalistic data.
  4. That, in order to justify such an experiment or experiments, it is not necessary to presuppose the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life operating in the environs of the Earth or to make very dubious speculations [9], [10] either concerning “their” advanced scientific and engineering capabilities or “their” psychological motivations and behavioral patterns.

ROBERT M. L. BAKER, JR. The Senior Scientist of System Sciences Corporation, a subdivision of Computer Sciences Corporation, 650 N. Sepulveda Boulevard, El Segundo, California, 90245 and the Department of Engineering, UCLA November 21, 1967 References

  1. Baker, Robert M. L., JR., Astrodynamics — Applications and Advanced Topics (Academic Press, New York, 1967), pp. 4 to 10 and 91 to 95.
  2. Cheetam, R. P., J. Astronaut. Sci., XIV, No. 5, (1967).
  3. Mohr, F. B., Science, 151, pp. 634-636, (1966).
  4. Fessenkov, V. U., Physics and Astronomy of the Moon (Academic Press, New York, 1962), page 108.
  5. Lamar, U. L., and Baker, Robert M. L., Jr., “Possible Residual Effects of Tunguska-type Explosions on Desert Pavements.” Presented at the 28th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society in Odessa, Texas, October 21-24, 1965.
  6. Baker, Robert M. L., Jr., Science, 128, 1211 (1958).
  7. Baker, Robert M.L., Jr., “Observational Evidence of Anomalistic Phenomena,” J. Astronaut. Sci., XV, No. 1, January-February, 1968.
  8. Baker, Robert M. L., Jr. and Makemson, M. W., An introduction to Astrodynamics, Second Edition, (Academic Press, New York, 1967), pp. 325-333.
  9. Markowitz, William, Science, 157. pp. 1274-1279 (1967).
  10. Rosa, R. J., Powers, W. T., Vallee, J. F., Gross, T. R. P., Steffey, P. C., Garcia, R. A., and Cohen, G., Science, Vol. 158, No. 3806 pp. 1265-1266 (1967).
  11. Nathan, Robert, “Digital Video-Data Handling,” JPL Technical Report No. 32-877, 1966.
  12. Hartmann, W. K., Nininger Meteorite Award Paper, Publication No. 3, by the Center for Meteorite Studies, Arizona State University, May, 1966.
  13. Shoemaker, E. N. and Lowery, C. J., “Airwaves associated with large fireballs and the frequency distribution of energy at large meteoroids.” Presented at the 29th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society in Washington D. C., November 3-5, 1966.
  14. McCrosky, R. E., “Orbits of Photographic Meteors,” Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Special Report No. 252, October, 1967, page iv.
  15. Hartmann, W. K., (letter dated September 23, 1967).
  16. Neal, J. T., Office of Aerospace Research Report, AF CRL-65-266, April, 1965.
  17. Lamar, D., (in conversation on October 6, 1967).
  18. Walker, Dr. Sydney, III (in conversation on October 15, 1967) and Psychiatric Signs and Symptoms Due to Medical Problems (Charles C Thomas Publisher, Springfield, Illinois, 1967).
  19. Jung, C. G., Flying Saucers, translated by R. F. C. Hull (Routledge and Kegan Paul, Long, 1959), page x.
  20. Singer, S., in Problems of Atmospheric and Space Electricity, edited by S. C. Coroniti (Elsevier Publishing Company, New York, 1963), page 463.


  The Journal of the Astronautical Sciences Vol. XV, No. II, pp. 92-96 March-April, 1968

Establishing Observer Creditability: A Proposed Method1

Sydney Walker III, M.D.1

Abstract This article is a brief review of the critical chain of linked processes — anatomic, physiologic, and psychological — which operate to determine the nature of the observations made by an individual, whether of an accident, a planned experiment, or an extraterrestrial phenomenon such as a “UFO,” One purpose of such a review is to demonstrate how, through the use of proper medical examination, the integrity of the observer system can be established in such a way that eye witness creditability does not have to be left to the kind of speculation in which it so frequently finds itself today. Without some such investigation, it is not known whether the reporting observer has, for example, serious visual abnormalities, a brain tumor that causes visual hallucinations, or character pathology such that he is prone to attract attention to himself by fabricating or frankly lying about what he has seen. That such observer evaluations have not been previously proposed is probably because adequate assessment depends on incorporating the approaches and tools of several medical specialties, rather than one. Introduction and Rationale Human testimony to events which have been observed is crucial to science, law, and the national security. Yet the creditability of such testimony is frequently left either entirely to speculation or, at best, inadequately ascertained. One need merely to look at the current controversy and confusion surrounding the issue of unidentified flying objects (UFO’s) to appreciate the need for careful observer assessment. Only after observer creditability has been established, can one sort out the “soft data” of UFO reports and scrutinize them for scientific usefulness [1]. One recourse, or course, is to deal only with “hard data” and to simply refuse to deal in any way with eye witness reports, contending that such observations are unlikely because they are too bizarre or have previously been reported only by “crazy people.” This kind of reaction reflects scientific closed-mindedness. It is apt to be based in prejudice or fear of the unknown (particularly when that unknown, if taken seriously, would threaten one’s safety or survival). Such an attitude is among those which the scientist who wants to be objective will guard against, in the interest of truth and progress. On the other hand, the opposite position of complete, unquestioning faith in observer reports is no better. This author suggests an initial attitude of “benevolent skepticism” because of an acute awareness of the myriad of individual processes (and maladies) that determine what has been witnessed and how it is described. Further, and more importantly it is proposed that specific, specialized medical assessment of individual observers is essential to establishing the integrity of the observer system. Following careful, clinical investigation, much of the human error in observation can be placed into a perspective which eliminates the “blind faith” in eye-witness testimony and gives the reported data a confidence proportionate to its value. Although it is well-known that specific training can serve to increase observational acuity, the basic individual ability is variable. People differ considerably in terms of genetic endowment, neurologic integrity, and personality characteristics and dynamics — all of which account for what they see or say they have seen. By applying selected methods used in medicine, particularly in neurology, psychiatry, and neuro-ophthalmology, observers can be clinically evaluated for creditability, both predictive and retrospective. Such an approach offers both quantitative and qualitative assessment of central nervous system functioning as it would be reflected in observational reporting. Adequate clinical assessment of an observer must involve cross-disciplinary integration because of the nature of the bodily processes involved in seeing and reporting an event. In the beginning, the event is perceived. Usually, this is basically a matter of seeing, although other sensory modalities can also be involved. The initial critical consideration, then, is the state of the eye (cornea, lens, retina) and its connections with the brain (optic nerve, tract, temporal, parietal, and occipital lobes). A careful examination of these structures (both directly and indirectly) can establish whether or not it would have been possible for a particular individual to have perceived what he has reported or whether, on the sole basis of the state of his input apparatus, his observation was distorted. Once it has been established that a visual image can be picked up and transmitted, unmolested and unaltered, 1Manuscript submitted February 1968. 22337 Glendon Ave., Los Angela, California 90064.


  along normal pathways to the back of the brain to allow for perception, the next question is how the brain codes it. This involves the ability to deal with detail, to make associations and spatial relationships, and to do other intellectual work, all of which occurs very rapidly and before the processed material is made available at the tempero-parietal lobe level for communication or for a reaction of any other kind. A great many pathways and a number of brain areas are operative in this critical coding step, and a number of problems, both anatomic and physiologic) can affect the process, either subtly or grossly. The responsibility of the clinician here would be to test cortical integrative ability with the various neurologic testing techniques available to him. He must also rule out (by careful history, general physical examination, and certain laboratory’ measures) the innumerable disease states — toxic, infectious, endocrine, metabolic, deficiency, and neuropathologic — that can subtly alter cortical functioning and thus interfere with the coding of an observation. The next step in observer evaluation is the psychiatric part which, if properly carried out, will probably be the statistically most fruitful for uncovering observer creditability gaps. This is in part because the same types of disease processes listed above for interfering with cortical integration (coding) also can cause such mental aberrations as frank hallucinations and delusions or lead a person to fill in with make-believe details (confabulate) the parts of a report that his brain condition no longer allows him to remember. In addition, there are the purely psychological problems, based in background factors, which lead an observer to deliberately fabricate or unwittingly distort what he has seen. If consciously driven, his motivation may be fame, fortune, competitive strivings or some rather specific, complicated need which has been tapped by finessing the event he is reporting. If the distortion has its roots at an unconscious level, it is likely that it was triggered by something about the event in relation to the patient’s remote past. In the case of a functionally psychotic person, the entire observation may be the product of his own intrapsychic life instead of having had anything at all to do with an external event. On the opposite end of the continuum is the normal or only mildly neurotic person whose “hang-ups” are such that they have either not substantially affected his report or have only very subtly colored a small detail. It may be just as important to ascertain this. Other aspects of the psychiatric part of observer examinations are the matters of intellectual differences and language factors, both of which would have some bearing on the reporter’s strengths and limitations as a creditable and adequate observer. A sound systematic method for ascertaining observer creditability would have widespread application. People in the legal profession grapple daily with this problem [2]. Eye-witness testimony determines individual life and death decisions in courtrooms. On an even grander scale, it shapes far-reaching diplomatic and military policy. In the laboratory or other scientific settings, when inaccurate, it can lead to an horrendous waste of money and professional man-hours. In all these situations, we should be demanding to know more about the likelihood of a crucial observation before acting on it. Many people in science, technology and government perform basically observational roles. Some of these individuals are in such responsible positions that what they think they see or say they have seen, and how they respond to it, could profoundly affect the course of human events. (Such a statement will not seem overdramatic or exaggerated to those readers who have some knowledge of how, for example, our national security system operates.) The choice of these people on the basis of tenure, military rank or years of good conduct seems hardly pertinent, since these factors don’t necessarily reflect anything about the state of their central nervous system. Given our extreme reliance on some of these individuals, it is suggested that they be screened for observational integrity prior to placement in key positions and that they also be given periodic follow-up evaluations. All-encompassing medical assessments of observers have not, to this author’s knowledge, been previously proposed. This is probably because developing the idea and applying the methods entails a working knowledge of at least three of those medical specialties which focus on the central nervous system. It also demands an eagerness to integrate certain aspects of each specialty, for purposes of problem-solving. The desired end, in this case, is a more complete understanding of the individual observer. Rather than extensively elaborating on the necessary examination techniques, the following outline stresses processes, structures, and diseases that determine the nature of reported observations. The specifics of the material are intended mostly for the non-medical reader, since the question of observer creditability is so often his business and since he will be the one in the position to decide when to request the special assessment. Method The initial phase of integrated eye-witness assessment is a general medical evaluation. This involves, besides the complete physical examination, a careful history and selected laboratory’ studies. The rationale for beginning in this way is screening, since many disorders of other organ systems are well-known for their adverse effects on central nervous system functioning. Knowledge about the background and current status of the observer’s general bodily health will alert the physician to which areas will need further investigation and which of the later, special examinations will


  warrant particular scrutiny [3]. When diabetes, for example, is known to be present, the physician will look for specific related abnormal findings when he checks the eye and does the neurologic and mental status examinations. Since observations usually begin with the eye and/or some other sensory organ, the next step (once adequate general medical screening has been done) might naturally be a neuro-ophthalmologic examination. This would concern itself with the major structures of the visual apparatus and any of their abnormalities which might influence accurate reception of the visual images [4]. The cornea, the most external structure, accounts for visual distortion through scarring and clouding. These changes are caused by such insults as trauma to the eye, exposure to toxic fumes, infections, and deficiency or degenerative diseases. Inspection with an ophthalmoscope and/or slit lamp will positively establish corneal integrity. The lens of the eye is the main structure for directing light rays from external phenomena to the retina. It has a wide range of possible variation, on both a genetic basis and, like the cornea, as a result of aging, trauma, deficiency diseases and infections. The configuration of the lens, as it is suspended in front of the eye by delicate muscles, accounts for the sharpness (and shape) of the image known as refractive ability. The aqueous humor which bathes the lens is of particular concern because of the pressure it exerts on the rest of the eye. Increased pressure changes in this medium, measurable with a goniometer) are responsible for glaucoma which can result in serious impairment of visual acuity. After a period of time, the increased pressure will also lead to a characteristic constriction of the visual fields, which can be established by examination (perimetry). The vitreous humor fills the eyeball and is the other fluid through which the light rays of a visual image must pass before they reach the retina. This medium is subject to clouding and other signs of early inflammation. “Floaters,” which are abnormal proteinaceous particles in the vitreous humor, are sometimes mistaken by people as moving objects that are in their outside environment. Again, ophthalmoscopic and slit lamp examination will serve to determine the status of the vitreous humor. The retina is the structure on which the visual image is actually received; loosely, it can be likened to camera film. Located in the posterior eyeball, it is the beginning of the neural perception linkage which eventually reaches the brain and consciousness. The retina is subject to many and varied abnormalities which can severely disturb both visual sharpness (acuity) and range (fields), as well as color perception. Retinal pigment accumulation, inflammatory, and other exudates, vascular problems and other types of pathology can come between an otherwise observable event and the retina, such that part or all of the event is obliterated or distorted in various ways. Ophthalmoscopic inspection will yield a great deal of information about the anatomic integrity of the retina, but a complete assessment must also include detailed mapping of both visual fields by perimetry, with attention to the size and shape of the blind spot. The observer’s ability to perceive color at the retinal level may be challenged with Ischihara charts, which are most popularly used for detecting color blindness. These charts also will pick up abnormalities in color perception which are due to drugs, other toxic conditions, and higher, cortical integrative problems. The head of the optic nerve (disc) can also be easily inspected with the ophthalmoscope, as it sits bare at the back of the eye. The optic nerve is subject to similar pathologic processes as those mentioned above: i.e., developmental, inflammatory, metabolic, and toxic. The color, texture and anatomic configuration of the nerve head indicate not only the integrity of the optic nerve at this vital point but also offer highly suggestive inferential information about the state of the rest of it, which is not directly visible. In addition, when there is increased intracranial pressure due to any type of brain abnormality, it can be reflected in the appearance of the optic disc. The optic nerves from both eyes join in the area of the pituitary gland and then redivide in such a way that fibers from both eyes are represented in the optic tracts that form. Each tract then travels along either side of the brain (medial aspect of parietal and temporal lobes) via optic radiations to the occipital cortex. These pathways, although not directly visible, are accessible through the use of several maneuvers. Composite findings on neurologic examination, including visual field results, are traditionally used, but opticokinetic studies should also be done because of the abundance of information they can give about the integrity of the optic radiations. This involves the use of a moving, checkered tape which the patient watches and to which his eyes should involuntarily respond with rapid, rhythmic movements (nystagmus) [5]. If, on the basis of these studies, some kind of local pathology or other interfering process is suspected, the physician can then make use of special x-ray procedures (pneumoencephalography, arteriography) for looking at the areas in question. Once the examining physician has satisfied himself as to the status of an observer’s visual apparatus (to the point where the cerebral cortex takes over), he will want next to proceed with a detailed neurologic examination. His index of suspicion about the presence of absence of pertinent central nervous system disease had already been altered by his findings on general physical evaluation, as well as from the eye examination. There is a clinical format for doing a complete neurologic examination; it is well-known to neurologists and


  other interested physicians. Certain of the maneuvers, particularly those which test cortical integrative function, are extremely important in the evaluation of an eye-witness. This is because they will indicate the ability of the observer’s cerebral cortex to process what his visual apparatus has fed in — to differentiate various kinds of sensory input, process detail, make associations, and integrate spatial relationships. More specifically, those tests that reflect cortical sensory status are particularly pertinent for eyewitness assessment. This is because there are numerous medical disorders that cause neurologic disruption at the cortical sensory level, resulting in hallucinations, delusions, distortions, and confabulations [6]. “Organic” hallucinations and distortions often seem very real, even afterwards, to one only transiently afflicted and are apt to be reported as witnessed events. They can occur in people suffering from acute infections, adrenal insufficiency, brain tumors, chronic pulmonary disorders (respirator acidosis), complications from vitamin deficiencies and alcoholism, abnormal calcium metabolism, low blood magnesium levels, epilepsy (for several reasons), and Sydenham’s chorea. In addition, there are scores of commonly used drugs which will produce hallucinations if taken in toxic quantities or, by certain people, in prescribed amounts. These include antihistamines, meprobamate (“Milltown”), dephenylhydantoins (antiepileptic agents), atropine (found in many non-prescription sleeping pills), and bromides (as in Bromoselzer). The report of an eye-witness who has been scrutinized for these possibilities alone (by history, examination, and necessary laboratory data) will understandably assume more creditability. The possibility that an observation may have been influenced by an “organic” delusion should also be investigated. Frequently, as with the hallucinations, there will be clues to this situation from the observer’s history or from some examination findings. Among the underlying medical causes of delusions are trichinosis, syphilis, hypothyroidism, calcium disorders, various blood disorders, encephalitis, and pellagra. Some of these same disorders can, of course, also influence observational reporting through other channels. Confabulation, as a neurologic sign, is particularly important to rule out in the eye-witness report because it can be so deceiving. In fact, it serves as a cover-up for memory impairment by filling in the gaps with sundry (but inaccurate) details. Typically, confabulation is seen in association with peripheral neuropathy (careful examination is thus apt to alert the physician) and is the result of either a blood) disorder or, more commonly, exposure to toxins [7]. Many gross mental aberrations, such as hallucinations and delusions, are not associated with abnormal physical or neurologic signs and can be causally traced to underlying psychologic disorders. These are likely to be recognized and so labeled in the neurologic phase of the assessment where, as in psychiatry, a standard mental status examination is used for ferreting out emotional disorders, as well as memory and other intellectual impairment. For example, the schizophrenias and psychotic depression (which are the more frequent functional disorders associated with hallucinations and delusions) usually have well known clinical characteristics and will be obvious to physicians doing formal mental status testing [8]. It is because of the less florid kinds of psychopathology that a thorough psychiatric evaluation should be part of an observer creditability assessment. The complexities and vagaries of the human personality can lead to some gross distortions and fabrications around an event, particularly when finessed by people who are borderline psychotic, paranoid, sociopathic, hysterical or inadequate personalities. Some of these people, when stressed, have brief, episodic breaks with reality in which they are frankly psychotic and hallucinate, yet then resume previous functioning. During a sophisticated psychiatric evaluation, the physician would be likely to recognize a propensity for such episodes. His main job, however, would be to gather enough information about the observer as a person to be able to check him out generally, psychologically, for creditability. This would involve complete developmental and psychosexual history, studying family relationships (past and present), assessing intellectual ability, elaborating on areas of major conflict, assessing for characterologic make-up and evaluating for ego-strength or weakness. In instances where an observer is being retrospectively evaluated (i.e., he has already reported an event) there should be an intensive effort made to explore the observer’s feelings about what he has seen and described. Such discussion, when properly guided, is likely to uncover inconsistencies and other helpful clues, in the case of the noncreditable observer. Unconscious motivational forces that have led to inaccurate reporting can sometimes be uncovered by exploring the observer’s fantasy life, listening for slips of the tongue, or attempting free association. In an occasional observer, where substantiation of his creditability is crucial and there is vague reason to suspect it, a pentathol interview may be indicated. In instances where frank lying about an event is suspected, the observer can be questioned while monitored by a polygraph. This machine measures some of those bodily responses that are under the control of the autonomic nervous system which is, in turn, partly regulated by cortical centers. If the observer being studied is truly sociopathic and has never developed a super-ego, or conscience, the polygraph will not be able to pick up his lie, since he will have no associated conflict on telling it. The lying will be picked up, however, when the polygraph is used on other personality types. Up to this point, this paper has focused on the many factors that interfere with observer creditability. There


  is as well, an obvious positive application for these assessments. The psychiatric evaluation, for example, can be useful for further screening for the strengths of observer candidates who have already been ruled medically and neurologically intact. In addition to making some sound predictions about accuracy of reported observations, the psychiatrist could also explore the candidate’s ability to appropriately respond, under stress, to what he has seen. This aspect of an individual’s make-up is of grave importance (as implied earlier) in some military, security, and other key positions. Bibliography

  1. Baker, R. M. L., Jr., “Observational Evidence of Anomalistic Phenomena,” and “Future Experiments on Anomalistic Observational Phenomena,” Journal of the Astronautical Sciences, January-February 1968. An Introduction to Astrodynamics, Academic Press, 1967, pp. 319-333.
  2. De Waele, J. P., “An Experimental Critique of Testimony,” Review de Proit Penal et de Criminologic, 44: 955-980,1963-65.
  3. Brainerd, H., Current Diagnosis and Treatment, Lange Medical Publ. Los Altos, Calif., 1968.
  4. Walsh, F. B., Clinical Neuro-ophthalmology, 3rd Ed., Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, Md. 1957.
  5. Smith, J. L., Opticokinetic Nystagmus, C. C. Thomas, Springfield, Ill. 1966.
  6. Merritt, H. H., A Textbook of Neurology, 4th Ed., Lea and Febiger, Philadelphia, Pa. 1967.
  7. Walker, S., III, Psychiatric Signs and Symptoms Due to Medical Problems, C. C. Thomas, Springfield, III., 1967.
  8. Cameron, N., Personality Development and Psychopathology. A Dynamic Approach, Houghton, Mifflin, Boston, Mass. 1963.
  9. Walker, S., III, “The Neuropsychiatric Evaluation of the Eye Witness,” To be published.



1. General Discussion

2. Article Summary Read into the Record

3. Adjournment

  Mr. Roush. Thank you, Dr. Baker. I anticipated we would have difficulty keeping the members of the committee here at a time when important legislation is considered on the floor. We thought we would reserve the final few minutes for those of you who have made presentations to discuss among yourselves questions which may have been aroused by one of your colleagues’ presentation today. With that in mind, we are going to permit you to have a real free for all. Dr. Sagan. Dr. Sagan. I just wanted to underline one point that Dr. Baker made. Congressman Roush, in his detailed presentation of the various Air Force systems, I am afraid that the main point won’t come across to a lay audience, and that is that with relatively little expenditure of funds, it would be possible to significantly improve the available information. Apparently what is now happening is that the Air Force surveillance radar is throwing away the data that is of relevance for this inquiry. In other words, if it sees something that is not on a ballistic trajectory, or not in orbit, it ignores it, it throws it in the garbage. Well, that garbage is just the area of our interest. So if some method could be devised by the Air Force to save the output that they are throwing away from these space surveillance radars, it might be the least expensive way to significantly improve our information about these phenomena. Mr. Roush. Thank you. Dr. Baker. Let me just make a comment: That is quite true. At the present time our space surveillance sensors are about 200 percent overtasked. That means they could make about 50 percent of their time available to us. They task too many space objects, their capacity is much greater than the space objects that they are tasked to watch. The space population may grow to fill this void, but currently what Dr. Sagan says is true, we could as I indicated in conclusion (4) modify our current space surveillance system. It is not an expensive thing to modify existing radars. The FPS-85 itself costs something like $100 million. The software modification called for here I am sure would be much less. Mr. Roush. Dr. Hynek. Dr. Hynek. I would just like to concur in what Dr. Sagan has said. I understand there are several hundred UCT’s a month, uncorrelated targets, that because they don’t — 1 understand — which since they do not follow ballistic trajectory, they are tossed out. It would not be expensive to introduce a subroutine into the computer to take care of these things for a short while. I strongly second Dr. Sagan’s and Dr. Baker’s suggestions. Mr. Boone. Mr. Chairman. Mr. Roush. Mr. Boone. Mr. Boone. I think the gentleman should advise you too, though, when you do that, you must make a trajectory determination on each target including aircraft which may put a terrific burden on the radar you are insisting on upgrading. Dr. Hynek. I will certainly grant that. Dr. Harder. I would only respond to Mr. Boone by suggesting you could reject all objects that were found, for instance, under 90,000 feet.


  Dr. Sagan. That is just what I was going to say. Certain velocity and altitude limitations. Mr. Boone. With that I agree. But I don’t think we make many sightings at that altitude. We do have a problem here of what you want to look at. So in fact I think the thrust of Dr. Baker’s argument here was that most of the Air Force equipment do not supply the material you would like to have. So you are going to have to go to a much lower altitude, and you are going to have to check a much larger number of targets. Dr. Sagan. I may have misunderstood, but my understanding was, since all of these “uninteresting” trajectory objects are thrown away, we have no way of knowing at the present time whether there are or are not large numbers of interesting objects at altitudes above 90,000 feet. Mr. Boone. What this means is you check each one and determine its trajectory, and then throw it away, so it no longer becomes a simple task of saying “Oh, I only want to look at the unidentified ones.” I have to check each one, and discard it. Dr. Sagan. Isn’t that being done already? Mr. Boone. No, it doesn’t do it below certain altitudes. Dr. Sagan. Right. Mr. Boone. All right. Certain targets are picked up at certain ranges, are they not? Dr. Sagan. Right. So therefore the suggestion is that within the altitude range, that is being used anyway by the surveillance radar — Mr. Boone. You complicate the procedure. Dr. Sagan. Slightly. Mr. Boone. The procedure is used but it involves the software again which is much more difficult to add to the systems than I believe is being presented. It can be done, there is no question it can be done. Dr. Harder. I would agree the amount of effort that goes into the relative softwares, although by no means a $100 million project, it is not a very simple project. Mr. Roush. Dr. McDonald, do you have a comment? Dr. McDonald. Yes. I would underscore another one of the points, the general points that Dr. Baker made. I think it addresses itself to the question raised. Both scientists and members of the public are quite aware we have many monitoring radar systems, optical and so on. This question is raised often, why aren’t UFO’s tracked? The point one is struck with in studying each of these systems in turn is the large degree of selectivity that is necessarily built into them. Good examples were cited by Dr. Baker. It has to be kept well in mind that even systems like SAGE when they were developed necessarily had to have programmed into them certain speed limits both lower and upper, certain safe requirements like if the target was on an outbound path it could be ignored. In almost every monitoring system you set up, whether for defense or scientific purposes, if you don’t want to be snowed with data, you intentionally built selectivity in, and then you do not see what you are not looking for. Consequently, this point is important, that despite our many sensing and monitoring systems, the fact that they don’t repeatedly turn up


  what appear to be similar to UFO’s, whatever we define those to be, is not quite as conclusive as it might seem. The second comment I would make concerns Dr. Baker’s remark that we should move ahead to instrumental techniques and perhaps lessen attention on the older data. I too agree that we have much need to replace what police officers and pilots saw with good hard instrumental data, the sooner the better, but there are many fields in which once you get instrumental data, say seismology, and being to learn about the phenomenon you are studying, seismology, astronomy, meteorology, once you understand these things you do go back to exploit the knowledge that is implicit in older data. Seismologists do study old earthquake records to improve the seismicity data available. Ecologists do look at old shifts in plant and animal patterns. Astronomers do look at old eclipse information, because once you begin to understand a problem, you can then sort out much better the important material. I would not want to see excluded entirely — in fact, I think it would be folly to exclude observations that go back 20 years, and a part of the problem we have not talked about today, still earlier observations. Dr. Baker. Yes, I concur in that. My message there was that if we preoccupy ourselves with continually going over past history, it is going to be frustrating. I think we can always use past history in retrospect. In order to go back, as you say, to look at the data and to put it in the proper perspective, when we learn more about the phenomena. So I agree. Mr. Roush. Is there any other aspect of previous presentations that any of you would like to question? Dr. Baker. I have a question of Dr. Harder about the Ubatuba magnesium. Was this magnesium terrestrial? In other words, it is granted that Ubatubas couldn’t produce it, but could the magnesium have been produced terrestrially, and if so, in what connection would we produce and employ such magnesium here on earth? Dr. Harder. Well, such pure magnesium is indeed produced terrestrially in connection with Grignard reagents, and produced by the Dow Chemical Co., where magnesium is produced in greater purity actually than this. At the time in 1957, the Brazilians did not have a sample of magnesium from the U.S. Bureau of Standards that was as pure as this Ubatuba magnesium with which to compare it. I might enlarge upon the data which was produced, or which was gotten at the request of Dr. Craig, that of the impurities found by the Colorado group, the principal one was zinc strontium with barium being a runner-up. these are very curious kinds of alloys from any terrestrial point of view. No detected aluminum, and only three parts per million copper, and those are the most likely alloying elements from the terrestrial point of view. Dr. Baker. Would you say that the sample was partially terrestrialized, and it might be the remnants of an ultrapure nonterrestrial alloy, or did it appear these particular impurities were in the sample from the beginning?


  Dr. Harder. This was done by a neutralization [sic] analysis on a very tiny slicer [sic]. It would be hard to say to what extent over the intervening 9 years there might be some terrestrialization, but certainly it would not have taken out aluminum or copper. It might have added zinc or barium, although that seems somewhat unlikely. Dr. Sagan. So some comparison analysis has been made for example of the magnesium flares. A magnesium flare has an abundance of impurities? Dr. Harder. It would hardly be 99.9 percent purity. Dr. Sagan. That is what I meant. Dr. Harder. Yes, that is right. Mr.Roush. Dr. McDonald Dr. McDonald. Both Dr. Hall and Dr. Sagan remarked in different contexts on the intense emotional factors that predispose some people to certain systems of belief, and I would like to remark on that to be sure that some perspective is maintained on that part of the problem. In the witnesses I have interviewed — I have intentionally stayed away from those who immediately show a very strong interest in a salvation theory, or something like that — so I have cut down my sample right at the start. I would want to leave the point strongly emphasized that though there are a few people, and some of them rather visible and vocal, who are emotional about the problem and tie it to almost religious beliefs, the body of evidence that puzzles me, that bothers me, and I think demands much more scientific attention, comes from people who are really not at all emotional about it; they are puzzled by it, they are reliable, a typical cross-section of the populace. They have not built any wild theories on it. In fact, let me mention one important sighting in New Guinea. I didn’t interview the witness in New Guinea, out in Melbourne, Australia. An Anglican Missionary, Rev. William B. Gill, was teaching the school in New Guinea, and when he and some three dozen mission personnel saw an object hovering offshore with four figures visible on top of it, even this minister didn’t begin to put any religious interpretation on it. He said this is what he saw, and he wrote very careful notes about it. It is that kind of evidence, and not evidence that comes from people with emotional factors predisposing them to system [sic] beliefs that impress me. Mr. Roush. Let’s have the psychologist speak here for just a moment. Dr. Hall. Thank you. I welcome that clarification. The point I was making was not that the witnesses generally are emotional and precommitted to a position at all, but that the people who are interpreting the evidence after it has been gathered are usually precommitted beyond the point of rationality, and it is a very important distinction that you brought out. The primary problem of witnesses, it seems to me, is this reluctance to report based apparently on a feeling that they will be ridiculed — that their evidence is not welcome — and I guess I can’t resist telling the little story from the Wall Street Journal, quite recently, of a man who had five pet wallabys in Westchester County. A wallaby


  is a miniature kangaroo. These five wallabys escaped, and rather than upset people he didn’t report this, he waited for people to tell him that they had seen them. And nothing happened for days and days. Well, when they were finally relocated and caught then lots of people started admitting, yes, they had seen these wallabys, but after all, if you see a tiny kangaroo loping across the road in New Rochelle, you are reticent to report it. Mr. Roush. Dr. Hynek again. Dr. Hynek. I think that is a most interesting point that ties in. I think sometimes we don’t ask ourselves really very fundamental questions, and that is, how is it that these reports exist in the first place? It is not just because they are strange, because we don’t have reports of Christmas trees flying upside down, or elephants doing strange things in the sky; the reports are strange, but they do have a certain pattern. Now, I have often asked myself, well, why do the reports exist in the first place? And how many are reported? Whenever I give a presentation to some group I frequently will ask them, well, how many of you have seen something in the skies you couldn’t explain; that is a UFO, or some friend whose veracity you can vouch for? I have been surprised to find that 10 to 15 percent, albeit it is a specialized audience, they are there already because they are interested, hence there is a selection factor, but nonetheless I am quite surprised that many respond. Then I ask the second one, Did you ever report it to the Air Force? And maybe one or two will say that they have. Now, why, then, should people make reports anyway, since they face such great ridicule? They do it for two reasons, those that I have talked to: One, is out of a sense of civic duty. Time and again I will get a letter saying, I haven’t said this to anybody, but I feel it is my duty as a citizen to report this. And many letters come to me. In fact, even saying, please do not report this to the Air Force. The second reason is that their curiosity finally bugs them. They have been thinking about it and they want to know what it was they saw, and many letters I get will end in a rather plaintive note, can you possibly tell me, or can you tell me whether it is possible what I saw? Those two reasons are the “springs” of why the report is made in the first place. I don’t know how much store can be put in the Gallup poll, but I understand when, about 2 years ago a poll was made on this subject, there was something like — the poll reported 5 million people, 5 million Americans had seen something in the skies they could not explain. Over the past 20 years the Air Force has had some 12,000 reports. Therefore, one can logically ask, who is holding out on the other 4,988,000 reports? I think there may be quite a reservoir of reports that simply have not come out into the open because of this natural reluctance of people to speak out. Mr. Roush. Dr. Hynek, your experience has been similar to mine, although much more extensive. In the 10 years I have served on this committee I have had occasion to ask various witnesses their beliefs


  as far as UFO’s are concerned. They have included Air Force generals and Army generals, and usually they display a great interest. Sometimes they will say, I don’t believe, But my wife does; some will say. The other day I was engaged in a colloquy over on the floor of the House, not a part of the record, but just as a side conversation, with two of my colleagues who sit on this committee. (At this point, discussion was off the record.) Mr. Roush. Back on the record. As a result of my experience on this committee I have been privileged to visit the tracking stations which NASA has throughout the world. Each place I have visited I have asked the question, “Have you tracked any unidentified flying object?” Well, it is obvious they apparently don’t have the ability to track, but the response was “No,” everywhere except in South Africa. Then they said, “anything we track, which we do not understand, we turn over to the Department of Defense,” inferring there were some things they did not understand. The same is true with those places in the world where there is a Baker-Nunn camera. I asked the same question of them. For the most part there was a boundless curiosity, but a negative response. Dr. Hynek. I might respond to that, of course, in talking to them, you have represented officialdom, and they may themselves be a little afraid to say anything to a Congressman that might get them into trouble. But I get reports sub rosa that are to the effect that people, trackers, and so forth, have seen things, but they would not dare think of reporting it. Now, that is hearsay. I am sorry it is not hearsay; it has happened to me. But it is not what I would call “solid evidence,” Mr. Roush. Just one other comment. I serve on the board of trustees of a college back in Indiana. In the course of a year they had numerous lectures by outstanding people in their lecture series, quite outstanding people on various subjects, but they scheduled one lecture given by a student at the college on unidentified flying objects. Needless to say, he had the best attendance of the entire series. Dr. Harder. Dr. Harder. Following on something that Dr. Hynek said about the small percentage of actual sightings that are reported, this would suggest that the two instances that I brought out, which to my knowledge are the only extant pieces of what you might call scientific information — information containing information of a scientific nature, might well be multiplied by a factor of 10, if it were not for this ridicule bit, and furthermore, if it were not the subject of ridicule, many people would perhaps take greater care in the observations that they do make, and perhaps come up with similar kinds of anecdotal nature of somewhat more importance than just flashing lights. For instance, the plane of polarization or — well, many kinds of observations came to us. We would have even at this point far more anecdotal information of a scientific nature and of scientific importance than we now have. Mr. Roush. I think those of you who have sat on this panel today have made perhaps a greater contribution than you realize in adding


  some respectability to the interest the American people have in this phenomena. Perhaps we can, by further activity on the part of this committee, and you on your part, and by the public reading what you have said today, cause people to be more responsive and to report what they see. Perhaps we can thereby give an air of respectability to these sightings which will permit people to go ahead without being embarrassed or ashamed of reporting what they have seen. Does anyone else have anything here? Mr. Fulton. Mr. Chairman, sightings of UFO’s in western Pennsylvania have now increased to the point where interested citizens have established a UFO Research Institute with a 24-hour answering service, to investigate reports and sightings. In my congressional district, there is the Westinghouse astronuclear plant, whose fine work is well known to the members of our committee. As I have been asked by Mr. Stanton T. Friedman, a nuclear physicist at Westinghouse who makes a hobby of investigating UFO sightings and publicly speaking on the subject, it is a pleasure to insert a statement by Mr. Friedman, “Flying Saucers Are Real” into the record at this point. He is one of the few observers with the candor to conclude and so state that “the earth is being visited by intelligently controlled vehicles” from outer space.   (Mr. Friedman’s statement follows:)



After considerable study, first-hand investigation, and review of a great variety of data, I have concluded that the evidence is overwhelming that the earth is being visited by intelligently controlled vehicles whose origin is extraterrestrial. This does not mean that I know why they are here, where they come from, how they operate, why they don’t seem to be talking to us. It also does not mean that I believe that everything that people see that they cannot identify is an extraterrestrial spaceship. Quite the contrary, I believe that most things that people report as UFO’s can be identified as relatively conventional phenomena seen under unconventional circumstances just as most isotopes cannot fission or fusion, most chemicals don’t cure any diseases, most people cannot run a four-minute mile, and most women don’t look like Brigitte Bardot. The scientific approach to any problem is to sift the information to find that which is relevant to the solution of the problem at hand. The fact that most initially strange objects in the sky and on the ground can be identified is totally irrelevant to the question of the existence of extraterrestrial spaceships. Also irrelevant are the facts that we cannot yet comfortably visit other planets, that some of us might behave differently from the way our visitors act, that we have not yet publicly been exposed to pieces of such a vehicle, or to an extraterrestrial humanoid on television. While almost everyone has heard of flying saucers and has an opinion about them, most people including the non-believing scientists who have made such definite statements about their non-existence are ignorant not only of the facts concerning UFO’s but also of the technology that might aid one in understanding the vehicles’ motion, the possibility of interplanetary and interstellar travel, or the possibility of life on Mars. Sightings of UFO’s are relatively common and have occurred all over the world. One out of every 25 adult Americans has seen a UFO. Judging from the one detailed, official, scientific investigation that has been published, one-fifth of the sightings can be labeled as Unknowns. These Unknowns are completely separate and distinct from the 20% of the 2199 sightings which were labeled “Insufficient Information” because some vital piece of data was missing. Many of the Unknowns are reported by highly trained, competent witnesses who have close-up sightings lasting for many minutes. UFO’s have been observed on radar and been subsequently labeled as Unknowns. There have been simultaneous radar and visual sightings. Comparisons between Knowns and Unknowns clearly showed definite differences in color, shape, size, velocity, maneuverability, etc.


  This data, which most people have never seen or even heard of, is published in a document entitled “Project Blue Book Special Report, Number 14” which was completed in 1955 and has never been made readily available. The low percentage of Unknowns since that time is the direct result of deception on the part of the U.S. Air Force whose entire approach since that time has been based upon the assumption that everything can be identified. The usual arguments made against “visitations” are based upon false assumptions, wrong (unanswerable) questions and faulty knowledge. “Things cannot go that fast in the atmosphere — spaceflight is impossible — trips to the stars are impossible, if they were here they would talk to us … etc.” The typical educated non-believer focuses on the irrelevant UFO’s and poor sightings by incompetent observers and carefully neglects the UNKNOWNS seen by competent observers. The great probability that there are civilizations thousands, perhaps millions of years, ahead of us and possessing technology about which we are probably totally ignorant is neglected. The distressing thought that we, the inhabitants of this planet, might not be worth talking to is pushed aside. The most effective filter between the facts as they are and the widespread distribution of those facts has been ridicule. Fewer than 1% of the sightings that have occurred have been investigated or reported. Documents containing solid data about UFO’s rather than IFO’s have been privately published so that most people have never seen the data that they contain. An entire mythology of false information has been widely distributed instead. Now is the time to break through the “laughter curtain.” Studies done six years ago at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory showed that trips to the stars in reasonable times are feasible with the knowledge we have today using staged fission or fusion propulsion systems both of which are under development. A tremendously large body of data connected with magnetoaerodynamics even suggests we might be able to build something very much like the reported UFO’s — and also solve many of the problems of high speed flight and produce the electromagnetic effects so frequently associated with UFO sightings. “It’s impossible” is said instead of “We don’t know how.” Literally hundreds of reports from all over the world also testify to the existence of humanoid creatures associated with UFO’s on the ground. Once again ridicule has kept the facts from being known. More than 200 landings have been documented for 1954 alone. There are good pictures of UFO’s from all over the world — most of which have also not received the publicity that they deserve. A good example of the ridiculousness of the professional skeptics’ attitude is the statement that “life as we know it cannot exist on any other body in the solar system.” It sounds sensible until we note that we expect to send men to the moon and to Mars. The primary attribute of an advanced intelligent civilization is its ability to create its own environment almost everywhere such as the bottom of the ocean, in outer space, and on the surface of airless, waterless bodies such as the moon and Mars. For those who believe that the Mariner IV pictures of Mars proved that there isn’t life there, it should be pointed out that of 10,000 pictures taken of the earth from a satellite with cameras of the same resolving power as those used on Mariner IV, only 1 (one) gave any indication of life on earth. Max Planck once said that new truths come to be accepted not because their opponents come to believe in them but because their opponents die and a new generation grows up that is accustomed to them. Perhaps this is what will happen with UFO’s. Mr. Roush. Dr. Baker, and Dr. Hall, Dr. McDonald, Dr. Harder, Dr. Hynek, and Dr. Sagan, I believe that you people have made a real contribution here, and I think the time will come when certain people will look back and read what has been done here today and realize that we have pioneered in a field insofar as the Congress of the United States is concerned. They will be very mindful that something worthwhile was done here today. As a personal note, I would like to say this has been one of the most unusual and most interesting days I have spent since I have been in the Congress of the United States. Thank you. I thank each of you.


  The committee stands adjourned. (Whereupon, at 4:39 p.m., the committee was adjourned.)




1. Biography 2. Prepared Statement   (The biography of Dr. Menzel follows:)


Dr. Donald H. Menzel, a native of Colorado, received his Ph. D. from Princeton University in 1924. After one year as instructor at the University of Iowa, another year as Assistant Professor at Ohio State University, Dr. Menzel went to Lick Observatory in 1926, as Assistant Astronomer. While at Lick he participated in many observing programs with the large telescopic equipment. His major work, however, was in the interpretation of the spectrum of the atmosphere of the sun, from photographs taken at various total solar eclipses. He participated in the observation of two such eclipses, in the years 1930 and 1932. In the fall of 1932, Dr. Menzel came to Harvard University, where he has been ever since, except for three years of service as a Commander in the U.S. Navy, during World War II. His studies have covered a large number of fields, from pure physics to pure astronomy. Of special concern has been the sun itself, in which field he is a recognized authority. His studies have employed a combination of observation and theory. In 1936 he was director of the Harvard-M.I.T. eclipse expedition to USSR. In 1945 he directed the Joint U.S.-Canadian eclipse expedition to Saskatchewan. He has also observed the total eclipses of 1918, 1923, 1954, 1959, 1961, 1963 and 1967. In an attempt to obtain basic information outside of a total solar eclipse, Dr. Menzel developed the first coronagraph in the United States and established the station at Climax, Colorado, where it is now known as the High Altitude Observatory. Originally operated jointly by Harvard and the University of Colorado, this scientific institution is now wholly under the jurisdiction of the latter university. The observations of solar activity obtained at Climax had an immediate application to problems of solar-terrestrial relationships, especially on the propagation of radio waves. To expand the work in this field and to provide for more nearly unbroken records of solar activity, after World War II, Dr. Menzel suggested that the Air Forces establish a second solar station. After several years of site surveying, Sacramento Peak Observatory was established near Alamogordo, New Mexico on a mountain some 5000 feet above the Tularosa Basin, overlooking the White Sands Proving Ground and the Holloman Air Force Base. The large instruments, including the 16-inch coronagraph, were all designed and built under Harvard auspices, collaboratively with scientific personnel from the High Altitude Observatory. In 1956, with Air Force sponsorship, Harvard built a Solar Radio Observatory near Fort Davis, Texas, to record the radio waves of solar origin. The data from these observatories are revolutionizing our knowledge of the sun and solar activity. In 1952 Dr. Menzel became acting Director of Harvard College Observatory and, in 1954, was advanced to the Directorship. He resigned as Director on March 31, 1966. In Harvard University he is Paine Professor of Practical Astronomy and Professor of Astrophysics. On July 1, 1966 he also accepted appointment as Research Scientist on the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory staff. He has lectured extensively in Spanish throughout Latin America. In 1968 he was a Visiting Professor at the University of Chile, and served as State Department Specialist for Latin America in 1964. From 1954-56 he was President of the American Astronomical Society. He is Vice President of the American Philosophical Society, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a large number of other professional organizations. He is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and a Foreign Associate of the Royal Astronomical Society. From 1948-1955 he was President of the Commission on Solar Eclipses of the International Astronomical Union, and from 1964-1967 was President of the Commission on the moon. He is also a member of the International Radio Scientific Union (URSI), and the International Union for Geodesy and Geophysics. He has been Chief Scientist of GCA Corporation since 1959. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. from 1957-1966. (In 1954 he received the honorary


  degree of D.Sc. from the University of Denver, his Alma Mater, and their John Evans Award in 1965.) Dr. Menzel has been a prolific writer. His books, articles, and scientific papers cover a broad field, and have been translated into many languages. He has even ventured briefly into the realm of science fiction. His book, “Our Sun,” published by the Harvard University Press, is one of the so-called Harvard series on astronomy and a standard reference work, despite the fact that it is written in popular style for the general public. Two popular books on the subject of Flying Saucers, the second written with Lyle Boyd and published in 1963, analyze the various reports and demonstrate conclusively that these highly controversial “objects” are only various manifestations of different natural phenomena, not machines from outer space. His first book on Flying Saucers was translated into Russian. He has lectured extensively on UFO’s around the world, including South America and Mexico. Dr. Menzel’s interest in promoting good writing by scientists, led him to produce “Writing a Technical Paper,” co-authored by Professor Howard Mumford Jones of the Harvard Department of English and Lyle Boyd, a science editor. He is also author of a “Field Guide to the Stars and Planets,” a popular handbook for beginning astronomers.



Flying saucers or UFO’s have been with us for a long time. June 24, 1968 marked the 21st anniversary of the sighting of nine bright disks moving rapidly along the hogback of Mount Rainier. However, similar sightings go far back in history, where they have assumed various forms for different people. Old records refer to them as fiery dragons, fiery chariots, wills-o’-the-wisp, jack-o’-lanterns, ignis fatuus, firedrakes, fox-fire, and even the devil himself. And now a new legend — a modern myth — has arisen to explain a new rash of mysterious sightings. Certain UFO buffs argue that the peculiar properties and maneuvers of these apparitions, as reported by reliable people of all kinds, are so remarkable that only one explanation for them is possible. They must be vehicles from outer space, manned by beings far more intelligent than we. because the operators have clearly built vehicles with capabilities far beyond anything we can conceive of. On the face of it, this reasoning sounds much like that of Sherlock Holmes. who said on several occasions: “It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” I am willing to go along with this formula, but only after we have followed Holmes and excluded every possibility but that of manned UFO’s. And we must also show that no further possible solutions exist. The believers are too eager to reach a decision. Their method is simple. They try to find someone, whom they can establish as an authority, who will support their views. They then quote and often misquote various authorities or one another until they believe what they are saying. Having no real logic on their side, they resort to innuendo as a weapon and try to discredit those who fail to support their view. The UFO magazines refer to me as the arch-demon of saucerdom! I concede that the concept of manned spaceships is not an absolute impossibility. Neither are the concepts of ghosts, spirits, witches, fairies, elves, hobgoblins, or the devil. The only trouble with this last list is the fact they are out of date. We live in the age of space. Is it not natural that beings from outer space should exhibit an interest in us? But, when we consider that these beings — if indeed they are beings — have been bugging us for centuries, why should one not have landed and shown himself to the President of the United States, to a member of the National Academy of Sciences, or at least to some member of Congress? Please don’t misunderstand me. I think it is very possible that intelligent Life — perhaps more intelligent than we — may exist somewhere in the vast reaches of outer space. But it is the very vastness of this space that complicates the problem. The distances are almost inconceivable. The time required to reach the earth — even at speeds comparable with that of light — range in hundreds if not thousands of years for our near neighbors. And it takes light some billions of years to reach us from the most distant galaxies, times comparable with that


  for the entire life history of our solar system. The number of habitable planets in the universe is anybody’s guess. Any figures you may have heard, including mine, are just guesses. I have guessed that our own Milky Way may contain as many as a million such planets. That sounds like a lot, but the chances are the nearest such inhabited planet would be so distant that if we send out a message to it today we should have to wait some 2000 years for a reply. Alas, the evidence is poor for intelligent life in our solar system, though I do expect some lower forms of life to exist on Mars. With respect to UFO’s my position is simply this. That natural explanations exist for the unexplained sightings. The Air Force has given me full access to their files. There is no vast conspiracy of either the Air Force or CIA to conceal the facts from the public, as some groups have charged. The basic reason for continued reporting of UFO’s lies in the possibility — just the possibility mind you — that some of them may derive from experimentation or secret development by a hostile power. And I don’t mean hostile beings from outer space! The Air Force has made its mistakes. They never have had enough scientists in the project. They have failed to follow up certain sightings of special importance. Their questionnaire is amateurish, almost cleverly designed in certain cases to get the wrong answer and lose track of the facts. The Air Force is aware of my criticism and, on a voluntary basis, I have helped them improve the questionnaire. It was not an easy job. Especially when the Air Force rejected some vital questions as “an invasion of the privacy of the individual.” From 1947 until 1954 a bewildered group of Air Force personnel tried honestly and sincerely to resolve the UFO problem. Many highly reliable persons had reported seeing “objects” moving at fantastic speeds, and apparently taking evasive action in a manner impossible for known terrestrial craft. By 1952 a sizable number of those in the Air Force group had concluded that extraterrestrial vehicles were the only explanation. Some of this unrest leaked out. Popular writers exploited these ideas and soon various UFO clubs came into existence. In 1958, a committee of scientists, headed by the late H. P. Robertson of California Institute of Technology met at CIA to consider a number of the Air Force’s most convincing cases. They immediately solved many of them. Others could not be solved because of poor or insufficient data. They concluded that all cases had a natural solution. There was no evidence to support the idea that UFO’s are vehicles from another world. Nevertheless, the UFO buffs believe, almost as an article of faith, that “trained observers,” such as military or airline pilots, could not possibly mistake a meteor, a planet, a star, a sundog, or a mirage for a UFO. This viewpoint is absolutely nonsense and the Air Force files bear witness to its falsity! They contain thousands of solved cases — sightings by “reliable individuals” like the pilots: But such persons have made huge errors in identification. A huge meteor flashes in the sky! The co-pilot thinks it is going to strike the plane and takes evasive action. The pilot disagrees and he is right. The UFO proves to be a fireball or meteor a hundred miles away! Such occurrences are frequent, not rare. They have even increased with the growing number of re-entries and spectacular decay of satellite debris from the space operations of the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. Distances overhead are uncommonly hard to estimate — either on the ground or in the air. A bird’s feather, shining brightly in the sun and floating a mere 20 feet overhead may seem to be a distant object moving at very high speed. Conversely, a pilot may think that a bright object on the horizon, in reality a star or planet, lies just beyond his wing tip. Sometimes, a layer of warm air, sandwiched between 2 layers of cold air, can act as a lens, projecting a pulsing, spinning, vividly colored, saucer-like image of a planet. Pilots, thinking they were dealing with a nearby flying object, have often tried to intercept the image, which evades all attempts to cut it off. The distance may seem to change rapidly, as the star fades or increases in brightness. Actual “dog fights” have been recorded between a confused military pilot and a planet. I myself have observed this phenomenon of star mirage. It is both realistic and frightening. Such observations fortified the UFO legend — that these objects “maneuver as if under intelligent control.” But the pilots failed to realize that the “intelligent control” came from within themselves. And I think that Air Force personnel of Project Blue Book still do not appreciate this important UFO phenomenon.


  Mirages are not the only apparitions that appear to maneuver. I think I was the first person, to point out that a special kind of reflection of the sun (or moon), sometimes called a sun dog (or moon dog), also can perform evasive action. Layers of ice crystals are necessary, like those found in cirrus clouds. An aviator flying through cirrus sometimes sees a peculiar metallic appearing reflection, a reflection of the sun or moon. He may elect to chase it. The apparition will recede if approached, or approach if the pilot reverses his course. The object seems to execute evasive action! As the pilot runs out of ice crystals, the UFO will seem to put on a burst of speed and disappear into the distance. But such behavior does not imply, as the UFO addicts argue, the presence of an intelligent pilot to guide it. No! It’s like chasing a rainbow, which recedes as you approach it or advances as you move away. As we look over the Air Force files, we find that some 90 per cent of the solved cases result from the presence of material objects in the atmosphere. I list some of these objects. Reflections from airplanes, banking in the sun, simulate saucers. Momentarily, a bright reflection appears and then vanishes. The plane is invisible in the distant haze. An imaginative person concludes that an interplanetary vehicle has come in fast, reversed course, and rapidly receded into the distance. Often the observers say “It couldn’t have been a plane,” because “no noise was heard” or because “it moved too swiftly.” And yet careful study proves beyond doubt that the object was indeed an aircraft. The brilliant landing lights of a plane can almost dazzle a person on the ground. Sometimes such lights may appear to be very close — only a few hundred feet away. You’d be surprised at the variety of mundane objects that people have reported as UFO’s. Balloons, child’s balloons, weather balloons lighted or unlighted, and especially those enormous plastic balloons as large as a ten-story building, which carry scientific instruments to altitudes of 100,000 feet! Reflecting full sunlight while the earth below lies in dim twilight, these balloons shine more-brilliantly than Venus! Advertising planes or illuminated blimps frequently become UFO’s. Birds, by day or night, often reflect light from their shiny backs. Windblown kites, hats, paper, plastic sacks, feathers, spider-webs, seed pods, dust devils have all contributed their share of UFO sightings. Insects single or in swarms. Saucer-shaped clouds, reflections of searchlights on clouds! Special space experiments, such as rocket-launched sodium vapor releases or balloons from Wallop’s Island have also produced spectacular apparitions! Ball lightning and the Aurora Borealis occasionally contribute. Reflections from power lines, insulators, television antennas, radars, radio telescopes, even apartment windows! These, too, have produced realistic UFO’s. I could add to this list almost indefinitely. But the chief point I want to make is that simple phenomena like the above have tricked intelligent people into reporting a UFO. But there are a few other phenomena that can produce UFO’s of a type that, as far as I know, the Air Force still does not recognize. I quote from an article on “Vision” in Volume 14 of the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology. “… any observant person can detect swirling clouds or spots of ‘light’ in total darkness or while looking at a homogeneous field such as a bright blue sky.” If you want to see flying saucers just look up. If you don’t see them, you probably are not “observant.” I see them most clearly in a dark room or on a moonless night with the sky even darker with heavy clouds. I find stars somewhat distracting. Just lie down on your back, open your eyes and see the saucers spin. The show is free. You will almost surely see bright, irregular patches of light form. Most of them seem grey green, but I occasionally see silver or gold and occasionally red. I can imagine windows in some of them. As you move your eyes they will cavort over the sky. To speed up the action just rub your eyes like a person coming out of a sleep. Occasionally the whole field becomes large and luminous. Now, I ask you, how canyon be sure that the UFO reported by an airline pilot is not one of these spurious images? And even if an alerted co-pilot confirms it, he might also be responding to a similar effect in his own eyes! The chemistry and physiology of the human eyes are certainly responsible for many UFO sightings. The eye responds in different ways to different kinds of stimuli. A sudden burst of bright light, like that from a flash bulb, for example, exerts an enduring effect on the eye. The light from the flash produces an immediate change in the so-called visual purple of the retina. In a sense the retinal spot on which the image fell becomes fatigued. For some minutes after the flash


  you will be able to see a bright, usually greenish, floating spot, which could be mistaken for a UFO by someone unfamiliar with the problem. Let me take an actual case, which is typical of a large number actually in the files of Project Bluebook. A child, going to the bathroom turns on a bright light and accidentally awakens one of his parents who is blinded by the sudden illumination. The light goes off and the parent gets up to investigate and just happens to glance out of the window. He is startled to see a peculiar spot of light floating over the trees and making irregular, jerky motions. He watches the UFO for a minute or two until it finally disappears. He cannot be blamed for failing to realize that the erratic and often rapid movements of his UFO are those of the after-image, drifting with the similar movements of his own eye. The UFO appears in the direction he happens to be looking. That is all. And yet he may describe it graphically as a luminous object “cavorting around in the sky.” Many such stimuli are possible by day or night. Some time ago I was driving directly toward the setting sun. When I came to a stop-light and looked out the side window of the car, I was startled to see a large, black object shaped something like a dirigible, surrounded by dozens of small black balloons. I suddenly realized that they were after-images of the sun. The big one was where I had been looking most fixedly. The spots were images where my eye had wandered. A UFO buff could have sworn that he was seeing a “mother ship” and a swarm of UFO’s in rapid flight, I once had another similar experience. I suddenly glanced up and was surprised to see a whole flotilla of UFO’s flying in formation across the blue sky. They looked like after-images, but I hadn’t been conscious of the visual stimulus responsible. I quickly retraced my steps and found it: sunlight reflected from the shiny surf ace of the fender of a parked car. I am sure that many UFO’s still unknowns, belong to this class. Look fixedly at the full moon for at least 30 seconds and then turn away. A greenish balloon will swim over your head and perform maneuvers startling or impossible for any real object. I’m been able to attain the same effect with the planet Venus, when near maximum brilliance. Yet most observers will swear that such UFO’s are true objects. And the Air Force questionnaire, failing to recognize even the existence of this kind of UFO, contains not a single question that would help them to identify it. In fact the words signifying UFO, unidentified flying object, show the state of mind of the Air Force personnel who invented this abbreviation. What I am saying is that the UFO’s are not unidentifiable, they are often not flying, and many are not even objects. It is this point of view — to regard the apparitions as actual solid objects — that has retarded to solution [sic] so long. After-images possess still other complicated characteristics. A colored light tends to produce an after-image with complementary color. A green flash will cause a red after-image and vice versa. Color-blind persons and persons with defective vision will often experience effects different from those of people with normal eyesight. Another optical phenomenon that can produce an illusion of flying objects lies within the eye itself. Again, look at some uniformly bright surface — sky or ceiling. Relax your eyes. By that I mean focus your eyes on infinity. The changes are that you will see an array of dark spots. These specks, which may seem to be near like a swarm of gnats or as ill-defined objects at a distance, are either on or in your eye. They may be dust floating on the lens, minute imperfections in the cornea, or possibly blood cells on the retina. These, too, can simulate evasive and erratic movement The eyeball jumps a little every time you blink. Walking transmits vibrations to the eye at every step. Many individuals think they see stars, planets, or satellites oscillating when the movement is actually that of the eye itself. Here is an example. On our return across Minnesota we had an experience which I have always remembered as illustrative of the fallacy of all human testimony about ghosts, rappings, and other phenomena of that character. We spent two nights and a day at Fort Snelling. Some of the officers were greatly surprised by a celestial phenomenon of a very extraordinary character which had been observed for several nights past. A star had been seen, night after night, rising in the east as usual, and starting on its course toward the south. But instead of continuing that course across the meridian, as stars invariably had done from the remotest antiquity, it took a turn toward the north, sunk toward the horizon, and finally set near the north point of the horizon. Of course an explanation was wanted.


  My assurance that there must be some mistake in the observation could not be accepted, because this erratic course of the heavenly body had been seen by all of them so plainly that no doubt could exist on the subject. The men who saw it were not of the ordinary untrained kind, but graduates of West Point, who, if any one, ought to be free from optical deceptions. I was confidently invited to look out that night and see for myself. We all watched with the greatest interest. In due time the planet Mars was seen in the east making its way toward the south. “There it is!” was the exclamation. “Yes, there it is,” said I. “Now that planet is going to keep right on its course toward the south.” “No, it is not,” said they; “you will see it turn around and go down towards the north.” Hour after hour passed, and as the planet went on its regular course, the other watchers began to get a little nervous. It showed no signs of deviating from its course. We went out from time to time to look at the sky. “There it is,” said one of the observers at length, pointing to Capella, which was now just rising a little to the east of north; “there is the star setting.” “No, it isn’t,” said I; “there is the star we have been looking at, now quite inconspicuous near the meridian, and that star which you think is setting is really rising and will soon be higher up.” A very little additional watching showed that no deviation of the general laws of Nature had occurred, but that the observers of previous nights had jumped at the conclusion that two objects, widely apart in the heavens, were the same. Those words came from a book called “Reminiscences of an Astronomer,” published in 1903 by Simon Newcomb, who was in charge of the American Nautical Almanac office from 1877 until 1897. The event actually occurred in 1866. The similarity to modern UFO’s is overpowering. A star cavorting across the sky! Military officers as responsible witnesses! In his delightful book, “Light and Colour in the Open Air,” the well-known Dutch astronomer, M. Minnaert, wrote. “Moving Stars. “In the year 1850 or thereabouts, much interest was aroused by a mysterious phenomenon; when one looked intently at a star, it sometimes seemed to swing to and fro and to change its position. The phenomenon was said to be observable only during twilight, and then only when the stars in question were less than 10° above the horizon. A brightly twinkling star was first seen to move with little jerks, parallel to the horizon, then to come to a standstill for five or six seconds and to move back again in the same way, etc. Many observers saw it so plainly that they took it to be an objective phenomenon, and tried to explain it as a consequence of the presence of hot air striae. “But any real physical phenomenon is entirely out of the question here. A real motion of ½° per second, seen by the naked eye, would easily be magnified to 100° or more, by a moderately powerful telescope; that means that the stars would swing to and fro and shoot across the field of vision like meteors. And every astronomer knows that this is sheer nonsense. Even when atmospherical unrest is at its worst the displacements due to scintillation remain below the limit of perceptibility of the naked eye. Psychologically speaking, however, the phenomenon has not lost any of its importance. It may be due to the fact of there being no object for comparison, relative to which the star’s position can be easily observed. We are not aware that our eye continually performs little involuntary movements, so that we naturally ascribe displacements of the image over our retina to corresponding displacements of the source of light. “Somebody once asked me why a very distant aeroplane appears invariably to move with little jerks when followed intently with the eye. Here the same psychological cause obviously comes into play, as in the case of the ‘moving’ stars, and ‘very distant’ seems to point to the fact that this phenomenon, too, occurs most of all near the horizon. “And how can we account for the fact that, suddenly and simultaneously, three people saw the moon dance up and down for about thirty minutes?” This is the phenomenon of “Telekinesis,” the apparent erratic motion of an object caused by the erratic motion of the human eye. I have seen a number of UFO reports in which the observer stated that the object could not have been a meteor or a satellite because it moved irregularly. For you who wear eyeglasses there is still another way of seeing a UFO. Look directly at some bright light, with your head turned slightly to the left


  or right. You will probably see a faint roundish out-of-focus spot. This is light reflected from the front surface of your eyeball, back to the lens, and then back into the pupil of your eye. A bright source, to one side and slightly behind you, can also reach your eye through reflection from the internal surface of the spectacle lens. To this moment I have not mentioned still another method of detecting saucers — one not subject to the vagaries of the human eye. I mean radar, of course. Radar is a machine. It can’t make mistakes. Or at least that is the common argument advanced by UFO buffs. Radar is cursed with all the potential afflictions that any complicated electrical gadget can suffer. But let me mention only one: mirage. Let me explain briefly what a radar does. It sends out a pulse of radio waves. We know the direction, Northeast for example. We know the elevation above the horizon. An echo returns. From the interval between transmission and reception of the pulse, we know how far away the object is that reflected the pulse back to us. We think we detect a plane — or a UFO in flight — because the radar directs the pulse upward. We have no way of following the pulse in its path toward the target. A layer of warm, dry air or even a layer containing a few bubbles of warm air will bend the radar beam back to earth. The reflection may be from a distant building, a train, or a ship. No wonder that planes, sent to intercept radar UFO, find nothing. In one such case, a well-known writer on flying saucers wrote: “The discovery of visible saucers had been serious enough. — The discovery now of invisible flying saucers would be enough to frighten anyone.” Small changes in the atmosphere can make the UFO seem to maneuver at fantastic speeds, executing right-angle turns or suddenly vanishing completely from the radar scope. I was very familiar with such effects from having worked with them during Naval Service in World War II. The greatest radar saucer flap of all times occurred in the hot, dry month of July 1952, when a whole fleet of UFO’s were detected by radar at Washington National airport. Subsequent research by the Weather Bureau completely confirmed what the UFO buffs pointedly refer to as my “Hot Air Theory.” After all why should one be surprised to find hot air over Washington? I know of no reliable case of simultaneous visual and radar sightings. In view of the physical properties of the eye, the surprising fact is that so few cases have been reported. Time will not permit me to elaborate on still other relevant phenomena. For example the Air Force appears to have neglected completely the psychological angle of which mass hallucination is just one phase. Back in 1919, in Spain, a not unrelated phenomenon occurred. Thousands of people — reliable people — swore that they had seen images of saints rolling their eyes, moving their hands, dripping drops of blood, even stepping out of their panels. One person would call out, others would imagine they had seen something! There are many similar events recorded through the ages. There are hundreds of known hoaxes, such as the ingenious one perpetrated by students of the University of Colorado. Spurred by the allotment of an Air Force grant for studying UFO’s to the University of Colorado, enterprising pranksters made hot-air balloons from candles and plastic bags, the kind used for packaging dry cleaning. The show was spectacular. And it gave the University investigators a good opportunity to see how poor the evidence can be, a fact well-known to the legal profession. This is still another point that the Air Force has sometimes failed to realize. Moreover their poor questionnaire only further confused an already confused picture. A recent similar sighting south of Denver, later identified as plastic-bag balloons and candles, produced fantastic reports from “reliable” witnesses. Several times I have used the phrase “UFO’s cavorting across the sky.” I did so deliberately because it seems to be a favorite phrase of my good friend Dr. J. Allen Hynek of Northwestern University and consultant to the Air Force Project Blue Book. He has sometimes expressed doubts about the UFO because stars don’t “cavort” across the sky. What I have tried to show is that many kinds of optical stimuli can produce weird effects. With all these kinds of phenomena masquerading as UFO’s, many of them, like those related to physiology of the human eye still practically not investigated, I think I can reasonably claim, applying the criterion of Sherlock Holmes, that we


  have not excluded all the impossibles. I have shown that the arguments advanced in favor of the interplanetary nature of UFO’s are fallacious. Their alleged high speeds and ability to maneuver have completely natural explanations. I think the time has come for the Air Force to wrap up Project Blue Book. It has produced little of scientific value. Keeping it going only fosters the belief of persons that the Air Force must have found something to substantiate belief in UFO’s. In making this recommendation I am not criticizing the present or recent administration of the project. But it is time that we put an end to chasing ghosts, hobgoblins, visions, and hallucinations. More than twenty years of study by the Air Force and an additional year of analysis by the University of Colorado have disclosed no tangible evidence supporting the popular view that UFO’s are manned interplanetary vehicles. An irresponsible press, which has overpublicized the sensational aspects of the phenomenon, has been largely responsible for keeping the subject alive. Both newspapers and leading magazines must bear the blame for mishandling the news. But such publications are not scientific journals. They present incomplete data and draw sensational conclusions without supporting evidence. The question of UFO’s has become one of faith and belief, rather than one of science. The believers do not offer additional clear-cut evidence. They repeat the old classical cases and base the reliability of the sighting on the supposed honesty of the observer. I have shown that many honest observers can make honest mistakes. The press has recently played up a story to the effect that, even in the U.S.S.R., an official UFO investigation has been started, under government sponsorship. Nothing could be farther from the truth! But the newspapers failed to retract after an official statement from the National Academy of the U.S.S.R. appeared in Pravda, to the effect that the reported study was the work of an unofficial and irresponsible amateur-group. The Academy statement further disclaimed any support whatever for the view that UFO’s are other than, badly misinterpreted natural phenomena, and certainly not manned extraterrestrial vehicles. I am aware that a small but highly vociferous minority of individuals are pressing for further studies of UFO’s supported — of course — by huge congressional appropriations. The heads of a few amateur UFO organizations urge their members to write Congress, asking for investigations of both UFO’s and the Air Force. The members have responded enthusiastically, and Congress reacted by financing a special study, which led to the project at the University of Colorado. And now, when it seems likely that the report from this study will be negative, the same vociferous group is again turning to Congress with the same appeal but with no more chance of success. Time and money spent on such efforts will be completely wasted. Congress should strongly disapprove any and all such proposals, large or small. In this age, despite the doubts expressed by a very small group of scientists, reopening and reopening the subject of UFO’s makes just about as much sense as reopening the subject of Witchcraft. Within the vast field of atmospheric physics, there exist many imperfectly understood phenomena which deserve further study, such as ball lightning and atmospheric optics. But any investigations of such phenomena should be carried out for their own sake, not under the cloak of UFO’s. I express my appreciation to Congressman Roush for the invitation to present my views on UFO’s. I append herewith my telegram to him dated July 24, 1968.

JULY 24, 1968.

J. Edward Roush,

Committee on Science and Astronautics,

Rayburn House Office Building,

Washington, D.C.:

Received your letter of July and will contribute paper as you suggest. Am amazed, however, that you could plan so unbalanced a symposium, weighted by persons known to favor Government support of a continuing, expensive, and pointless investigation of UFOs without inviting me, the leading exponent of opposing views and author of two major books on the subject.

Donald H. Menzel,

Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.



1. Biography 2. Prepared Statement (The biography of Dr. Sprinkle follows:)

R. LEO SPRINKLE, Ph.D., University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyo.

Name: Ronald Leo Sprinkle. Born: August 31, 1930, Rocky Ford, Colorado, U.S.A. Education: Elementary Education: Washington School, Rocky Ford, Colorado High School: Rocky Ford High School, Rocky Ford, Colorado Academic scholarship received from the University of Colorado: B.A. in Psychology, Education, Sociology, and History, University of Colorado, August 1962. M.P.S. (Master of Personnel Service) in Counseling, University of Colorado, August 1956. Ph.D. in Counseling and Guidance, University of Missouri, August 1961. Professional Experience: Residence hall supervisor. Men’s Residence Halls, University of Colorado, 1954-1956. Instructor-Counselor, Counseling Services, Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri, 1950-1959. Acting Director of Extra Class Activities, Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri, 1959-1961. Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota, 1961-1964. Assistant Director of Counseling Center, University of North Dakota, 1962-1963. Director, Counseling Center, University of North Dakota, 1963-1964: Associate Professor of Guidance Education, University of Wyoming, 1964-1965. Counselor and Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Wyoming, 1965-67. Counselor and Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Wyoming, 1967. Professional Affiliations: Member of the American Psychological Association, (Divisions of Counseling Psychology, and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues). Life member of the American Personnel and Guidance Association, (Divisions of American College Personnel Association, Association of Counselor Education and Supervision, Association for Measurement and Evaluation in Guidance, and professional member of National Vocational Guidance Association ). Licensed as Professional Psychologist in Wyoming, January 1, 1966. Certified as Counseling Psychologist by the Board of Examiners, North Dakota Psychological Association, May 11, 1962. Member of American Association of University Professors. Member of Psi Chi (Psychology Honorary). Associate Member of Parapsychological Association. Member of Wyoming Personnel and Guidance Association. Member of Wyoming Psychological Association. Member of American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. Life Member of American Association for the Advancement of Science. Professional Organizational Activities: State delegate to the annual meeting of the American Association of State Psychology Boards, St. Louis, Missouri, August, 1962. Secretary, Board of Examiners, North Dakota Psychological Association (NDPA), 1962-63. President, Board of Examiners, NDPA, 1963-64. Member of Commission VIII, Student Health Programs, of the American College Personnel Association, APGA, 1962 to present. (Chairman of symposium sponsored by Commission VIII at the APGA Convention, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 13, 1965.)


  Publications: “Measured vocational interests and socio-economic background of college students.” The College of Education Record, University of North Dakota, 1962, 47, No. 4, 54-56. “Counselor competence and the nature of man,” The College of Education Record, University of North Dakota, 1962, 47, No. 5, 70-73. With Gillmor, D. “A first step in evaluation.” The Superior Student. (Inter-University Committee on the Superior Student, Boulder, Colorado) 1964, 6, No. 2, 30-33. “Psychological implications in the investigation of UFO reports.” In Lorenzen, L. J. and Coral E. Flying saucer occupants. N.Y.: A Signet Book, 1967. pp. 160-186. Professional Research and Writing: “Permanence of measured vocational interests and socio-economic background” : Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, sponsored by Dr. Robert Callis, University of Missouri, 1961. “Student health and demands for academic accomplishment: an attitude survey of students at the University of North Dakota.” Unpublished manuscript presented at the American Personnel and Guidance Association (Commission VIII, Student Health Programs), Boston, Massachusetts, April 8,1963. “A hypothetical view of communication and human evolution.” Unpublished manuscript presented at the North Dakota-South Dakota Psychological Association Convention, May, 1963. Received a small grant ($278.00) from the Grants-In-Aid Committee, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, in support of a study to investigate the relation of personal attitudes and scientific attitudes. (Survey of persons interested in UFO reports.) *(Manuscript has been rejected by the Journal of Social Issues.) **Military History: United States Army, Artillery, 1952-1954; graduated as Honor Student No. 1, Class No. A-5324, 7th Army NCO Academy, Munich, Germany; served as corporal in 194th F.A.Br., Wertheim, Germany. Personal Hobbies: Reading; composing verses and songs; observing and participating in athletics ; travel; home work-shop activities. Personal Information: Married on June 7, 1952 to Marilyn Joan Nelson (born in Gurley, Nebraska, on April 28, 1930; and graduated from the University of Colorado with a B. Mus. Educ. in June 1953); oldest son, Nelson Rex Sprinkle, born February 20, 1958; younger son, Eric Evan Sprinkle, born on March 22, 1961; youngest son, Matthew David Sprinkle, born on May 4, 1964; daughter, Kristen Martha, born on April 16, 1967.


To The Honorable J. Edward Roush, M. C., Ind. Chairman, Symposium on Unidentified Flying Objects, The Committee on Science and Astronautics (The Honorable George P. Miller, M. C. Calif., Chairman), The House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. 20515. From R. Leo Sprinkle, Ph.D., Counselor and Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming 82070. Re Symposium on Unidentified Flying Objects.   *Psychological Problems in Gathering UFO Data: a paper presented in a symposium sponsored by Division 21, Engineering Psychology, at the American, Psychological Association convention, Washington, D.C., September 4. 1967. **Some Uses of Hypnosis in UFO Research; a paper which will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis; Chicago, Ill.; October 10-13, 1968.


  Thank you for your kind invitation (July 22, 1968) to submit a statement to you and your colleagues in regard to the problem of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs). I recognize some of the difficulties which confront you gentlemen, particularly in relation to the amount of information which becomes available to you when you wish to arrive at informed decisions. Also, I recognize some of the difficulties which confront college professors, especially when they try to be lucid and brief! Elsewhere, a more extensive attempt has been made to present views on the psychological implications of UFO reports. (Sprinkle, R. L„ Psychological implications in the investigations of UFO reports. In Lorenzen, L. J., and Coral E., Flying saucer occupants. N.Y.: A Signet Book, 1967. pp. 160-186.) Thus, in submitting this short statement, the attempt is made to present my personal views on the significance of UFO investigations. Hopefully, these personal views can be of some assistance to you in considering the statements being submitted to you by the distinguished scientists whom you have .invited to .participate in the symposium.


I accept the hypothesis that the earth is being surveyed by spacecraft which are controlled by representatives of an alien civilization or civilizations. I believe the “spacecraft hypothesis’ is the best hypothesis to account for the wide range of evidence of UFO phenomena. (For a more informed description of various UFO hypotheses, see Salisbury, F. B„ The scientist and the UFO. Bio-Science, January 1967. pp. 15-24.) I have read thousands of reports and I have talked with hundreds of persons about their UFO observations; either I must accept the view that thousands of people have observed physical phenomena, or I must accept the view that some persons have the ability to project mental images in such a manner that other persons can observe, photograph, and obtain physical evidence of those metal images. (For a more extended discussion of these hypotheses, see Jung, C. G., Flying Saucers, N.Y.: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1959, Pp. 146-158.) On two occasions, each time in the presence of a person who shares my claim, I observed unusual aerial phenomena which I could neither identify nor understand. My first observation of a “flying saucer” led me to change my position from “scoffer” to that of “skeptic.” My second observation of a UFO led me to change my position from “skeptic” to “unwilling believer.” As a result of my second observation, I began to join organizations (NICAP and APRO) and conduct investigations. The Grants-in-Aids Committee of the Society for Psychological Study of Social Issues, a Division of the America Psychological Association, provided a small grant, and Richard Hall, former assistant director of NICAP, cooperated in a study of the attitudes of persons interested in UFO reports. (See enclosure.) Later, I became a consultant to APRO. Mr. and Mrs. L. J. Lorenzen, directors of APRO, encouraged my interest in learning more about the psychic aspects of UFO phenomena. At the present time, I am conducting a non-supported investigation of some psychological attributes of persons who claim to experience psychic impressions of UFO phenomena, including their impressions of possible motives of UFO occupants. As a member of the Parapsychological Association and the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, i am interested in the possibility that reliable observations are being made by persons who claim to see UFO occupants and, in some unusual cases, experience “mental communication” with these UFO occupants. Use of hypnotic techniques with UFO observers seems to be useful procedure, in some cases, to obtain further information about UFO observations. (See enclosure “Personal and Scientific Attitudes: A Survey of Persons Interested in UFO Reports.”)


If these reports by UFO observers are found to be reliable and valid, I believe we shall enter the threshold of a most exciting and challenging period in man’s history. In my opinion, the attempt to achieve contact with other intelligent civilizations is a goal which is worthy of great personal and social effort. I plan to do what I can in furthering investigations of these phenomena, in hopes that these efforts can assist the contributions of other investigators. However, I believe that the mysteries are too deep, the investigations are too difficult, and the implications are too great for these efforts to be made on an informal basis. I believe that the establishment of an international research center is the most appropriate method to follow in reaching the goal of greater


  understanding of these phenomena. If this method is not feasible, then I believe that a national research center is needed for continuous, formal investigation of the physical, biological, psycho-social, and spiritual implications of UFO phenomena. Establishment of a continuing research center could provide for those facilities, equipment, and personnel to conduct the necessary field work and theoretical investigations of UFO reports. In my opinion, the staff of such a research center should be encouraged to avail themselves of scholars and experts in various disciplines, including astronomical, mathematical, physical, chemical, biological, medical, psychological, sociological, military, technical, legal, political, theological, and parapsychological fields of knowledge. I recognize some of the difficulties which attend such a proposal; I recognize some of the arguments which have been, are being, and will be raised against such a proposal. However, I trust that you gentlemen are aware that the present difficulties of enacting such a proposal are inconsequential when compared to the historical impact created by those persons who dare to exert that leadership which could determine the powers, purposes, and persons who control the spacecraft which we call “Unidentified Buying Objects.” Thank you for your attention to these comments. I shall be most happy to respond to any question which you may have about these or related views. Respectfully submitted,

R. Leo Sprinkle, Ph.D.


(By R. Leo Sprinkle, University of Wyoming)

A questionnaire survey was conducted among 3 groups: 26 Ph.D. faculty and graduate students in a Psychology Department (Psychology); 59 graduate students enrolled in an NDEA Guidance Institute (Guidance) ; and 259 members of an organization which is interested in “flying saucers” or Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs), the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP). It was hypothesized that there would be no differences between the scores of the three groups on the Personal Attitude Survey (Form D, Dogmatism Scale, Rokeach, 1960) and the Scientific Attitude Survey (Sprinkle, 1962). The results showed significant differences (P<.001 between the 3 groups with respect to their mean scores on both inventories, with the NICAP group scoring higher on both “dogmatic” and “scientific” inventories, followed by the Guidance group and Psychology group, respectively. Also, the survey showed differences in regard to social status and education. Psychology and Guidance subjects received an Index of Social Status (McGuire & White, 1955) which would classify them in the Upper Middle Class, while NICAP subjects would be classified mainly in the Upper Middle and Lower Middle Classes. The average years of education were tabulated as follows: Psychology, 18.8 years; Guidance, 17.2 years; and NICAP, 14.0 years. The results suggest that the NICAP group is more “dogmatic” and more “scientific” than the Psychology and Guidance groups. There are two feasible interpretations of these results: 1) The Scientific Attitude Survey (Sprinkle, 1962) is not useful in assessing “scientific” attitudes, and/or 2) the two inventories have assessed the tendency of the 3 groups to exhibit the “Yeasay-Naysay” pattern (Couch & Keniston, 1960). The latter interpretation indicates that there may be more “Yeasayers” (those with an agreeing response set or a readiness to affirm) in the NICAP group, followed by the Guidance group, and Psychology group, respectively.


Couch, A., & Keniston, K. Yeasayers and naysayers: Agreeing response set as a personality variable. J. Abnorm. Soc. Psychol., 1960, 60, 151-174. McGuire, C., & White, G. D. The measurement of social status. Research paper in Human development. No. 3 (revised), Dept. of Educ. Psychol, Univ. of Texas, March 1955. Rokeach, M. The Open and Closed Mind. N.Y.: Basic Books, 1960. Sprinkle, R. L. Scientific Attitude Survey. (Unpublished attitude inventory), 1962. *This study was supported by the Grants in Aid Committee, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, a division of the American Psychological Association.



(By R. Leo Sprinkle, University of Wyoming)


First, a brief review of UFO literature is presented. References are cited which offer hypotheses (Salisbury, 1967) to account for UFO observations, and positions (Sprinkle, 1967) taken by various investigators in regard to the significance of UFO reports. Second, examples are described in the use of hypnotic techniques in the investigation of persons who have observed UFO phenomena. Advantages and disadvantages of hypnosis are discussed in regard to obtaining further information from UFO observers. Third, some speculations are offered in regard to the possible relationships of paranormal or ESP processes and the observations of UFO phenomena. Cases are described which indicate possible relationships of hypnotic and psychic experiences of UFO observers. Fourth, some suggestions are presented for further investigation of UFO phenomena through the use of hypnotic and parapsychological procedures. These procedures may be useful to assess the reliability of information from UFO observers. In conclusion, the speaker believes that investigation of UFO reports should proceed along as many lines as there are interested investigators. Considerations of hypnotic procedures and techniques are only one aspect of these investigations, but these considerations may be helpful in obtaining and evaluating information submitted by UFO observers.


APRO Bulletin. Aerial Phenomena Research Organization, 3910 E. Kleindale Road, Tucson, Arizona, 85716. Flying Saucer Review, 49a Kings Grove, London, S. B. 15, England. NICAP, The UFO Investigator. National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, 1536 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036. Sable, M. H. UFO Guide: 1947-1967. Rainbow Press Company, P.O. Box 937, Beverly Hills, California 90213, 1967. Salisbury, F. B. The scientist and the UFO. Bio-Science, January 1967, pp. 15-24. Sprinkle, R. L. Psychological implications in the investigation of UFO reports In Lorenzen, L. J. and Coral B. Flying saucer occupants. N.Y.: A Signet Book. 1967. pp. 160-186.



1. Biography 2. Prepared Statement   (The biography of Dr. Henderson follows:)

DR. GARRY C. HENDERSON, Senior Research Scientist, Space Sciences, Fort Worth, Tex.

Garry C. Henderson was born in Brownwood, Tex., on October 23, 1935. He received the B.S. degree in mathematics from Sul Ross State College, Alpine, Tex. in 1960, the M.S. degree from Texas A&M University, College Station, in geophysical oceanography in 1962, and the Ph.D. degree in geophysics from Texas A&M University in 1965. He held the post of Research Assistant in the Texas A&M Research Foundation from 1960-1963. During this time he served as a technician, operator, and data interpreter with the LaCoste-Romberg S-9 Sea-Surface Gravity Meter. From February-June 1962 he worked for Dr. G. P. Woollard aboard the NSF Polar Research Vessel ELTANIN where he was in charge of testing the S-9 gravity meter and interpreting meter performance. He was an IBM 709 operator and senior programmer in the physical sciences for the Texas A&M Data Processing Center until the latter part of 1964. He received his Ph.D. while in the position of Chief Marine Geophysicist for Oceanonics, Inc., where he worked in techniques, instrumentation, and interpretation in the fields of gravimetry, magnetics, electrical methods, and computer operations. He joined the Applied Research Group of the Fort Worth Division of General Dynamics in the latter part of 1965. Since that time he has been engaged in studies of the methodology, instrumentation, and interpretation of geophysical investigations on lunar and planetary surfaces, particularly in the fields of gravimetry and electrical methods. He is currently Project Leader on the lunar surface


  gravimeter/surveying system and leader of the space sciences section of the applied Research Group. Dr. Henderson is a member of Alpha Chi, the American Geophysical Union, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, the American Astronautical Society, the Marine Technology Society, the Working Group on Extraterrestrial Resources, and Sciences Subcommittee Chairman of the Marine Geodesy Committee.




It is not the purpose of this essay to specifically reiterate the feelings of certain members of the scientific community regarding UFO phenomena; rather it is the objective here to briefly review the state of the problem and to analyze the means at hand of acquiring information which would be sufficiently reliable to convince the scientific community and others of the hardware existence or fallacy of the UFO. Although the common image persists of the scientist as an infallible front of wisdom and knowledge, the majority of reported activities of scientists relating to UFO studies has been nonprofessional by nature, i.e., prominent scientists have addressed themselves to the problem in a manner which they would certainly not approach problems within their respective fields. Such an example is the unfortunate selection of the University of Colorado team headed by a respected scientist, with the result that the squirrel-cage atmosphere usually associated with UFO interest has been augmented by built-in bias and confusion, rather than eliminated by one group of scientists’ involvement. One scientist has even published an article in Science (15 September 1967) implying that competent scientists would accept magic (or “semi-magic”) as an answer to the existence of UFO’s, and that our limited capabilities in their current stage may be our ultimate technical heritage. Is there not the slightest chance that, even today, there actually remain a few physical phenomena which we do not understand, or of which we are not even aware — and perhaps a few we misinterpret, but for which we are shrewdly able to concoct a convenient “law” by way of appeasingly [sic]* sufficient (but not necessary) explanation? If “others” exist, are they limited to our level of advancement? As noted in the Special Report of the USAF Scientific Advisory Board Ad Hoc Committee to Review Project “Blue Book” (March 1966) some sightings classified as “identified” resulted from too meager or too indefinite evidence to permit positive listing in that category. The keys to scientific achievement have several notches, but the material is comprised of competent open-mindedness, which appears to have been all too commonly lacking in the topic of concern. Historically, many of the most astonishing accomplishments have been performed by those who persisted even in the fog of ridicule exuded by their capable but narrow-minded colleagues. Several professional, qualified observers with proper instrumentation, planning, and time should be able to devise schemes in an unbiased manner to (1) determine what UFO’s ARE NOT, then (2) determine what, if anything tangible, they ARE.


Most thoughtful persons will dismiss the theatrical claims of trips on “saucers.” cavorting with little green men, and the like; however, some very plausible reports from highly trained, capable, and reliable individuals cannot be so readily discarded by anyone willing to admit that there are still a few things we do not understand. God help us if our military and commercial pilots and radar facilities so commonly mistake temperature inversions, balloons, atmospheric disturbances, the planet Venus, etc. for maneuvering vehicles. Have you ever tried to convince two veteran pilots that the object they reported sighting on a clear day with CAVU conditions, free of traffic lanes, showing on their radar .screen, exhibiting high maneuverability, in close proximity, etc., is meteoric debris? If so, then the wrong people are being examined. To my knowledge, all “facts” on UFO’s, here and abroad, exist in the form of visual sightings and a few, apparently unretouched photographs. Not to discredit the value of unaided observation, but with our degree of technological sophistication, these are hardly the sort of facts to justify the position of the


Air Force (and a few scientists) in their proclamations of “non-existence.” The public has been led to believe that everything has been done to either prove or disprove the existence of UFO’s — rubbish! Available information of a truly reliable nature should tend to increase activity, not place it in neglect, or worse, in ridicule. Classified (or “unavailable”) reports, mostly by the military, rob the public and scientific parties who are interested in and willing to participate in the UFO investigations. How can we even begin to evaluate for ourselves if we must depend nearly 100 percent on information doled out by the news media alone? Many scientists communicate with each other on the subject, often at scientific meetings (aside), but this route is hardly sufficient to establish a recognized basis for realistic study of the problem. The current USAF trend seems to be merely a statement that UFO’s do not pose a threat to the security of the United States, and therefore warrant neither credence nor further concern. Similar words come from some of the few Congressmen with whom I have communicated. The discovery of Noah’s Ark in Times Square would not necessarily pose a threat to national security either, but it would certainly be a find worthy of the most intensive investigation whether certain individuals accepted its existence or not.


Is it not obvious that what we need to establish the existence or non-existence of UFO’s is not merely a review of sighting incidents, but an implemented plan to acquire hard facts? Rapid, accurate reporting of sightings is obviously a valuable tool in studying UFO phenomena, but many of the most creditable observers (military personnel and airline pilots, for example) are not only hesitant to do so, they are understandably adamant when facing the alternatives of silence versus inviting ridicule, and possibly jeopardizing their positions. The obvious addition to gathering interview data is to enlist the aid of the impersonal machine. Evaluate, compile, and catalog reported data according to: time of day and year; atmospheric conditions (cloudy, humid, temperature, calm, and other easily recountable gross observations); geographic location; approximate size, shape, altitude, velocity, heading, maneuvers; and phenomena reportedly associated with the UFO presence. This can be done with existing information. Update and upgrade the files with new data by soliciting information (particularly military and commercial pilots). Then prepare a plan designed by scientists, engineers, pilots, and perhaps psychologists, on means to acquire instrument observations of UFO’s hopefully coupled to visual observations. Field-instrument packages could easily be placed in areas where UFO sightings are most concentrated, perhaps according to the time of day or year, atmospheric conditions, or some factor suspected to ‘be related to sighting activity. Such packages might be composed largely of military “surplus” instrumentation such as an infrared scanner, an active rf unit, a wide-band electromagnetic detector, a directional radiation counter and ionization gauge, a high-speed photographic camera, a three-component magnetometer, and recording environmental devices (temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, etc.). If it became advantageous to include a higher degree of sophistication, such items as a tracking television camera, a communications telemetry system, a sensitive audio recorder with a directional antenna might be added. Deployment and maintenance of the field package could easily be performed by military, university, or industrial technicians, but all data reduction and interpretation should be done by competent scientists familiar with the respective measuring techniques. We should anticipate gathering sufficient data leading to proof of the existence or non-existence of UFO’s, and, if they are real, the size(s), shape (s), flight characteristics (speed, rates of turn and climb, preferred direction of travel, etc.), possible means of propulsion and navigation, perhaps the establishment of communications, and eventually their origin. Questions of expense and management responsibilities immediately come to mind, but I think the government would be surprised how many qualified scientists, engineers, and technicians would be willing to participate on a low-dollar, volunteer, “as can” basis in support of such a program. At least an inexpensive newsletter could be distributed to the scientific and pilot groups for comments, as a start. Because of the history of wasted funds and unwieldy publicity associated with the UFO problem, the public may not be very receptive to such a proposal


  just for the pure joy of attempting to resolve the problem, unless it turns out that the UFO’s are irrefutably proven to be extraterrestrial in origin, thereby gaining incentive as a popular curiosity. A Working Group on UFO’s could be painlessly commissioned, much as other working groups comprised of scientists and engineers.


If there are UFO’s in existence here, and IF they are extraterrestrial, by mere intuition I seriously doubt that they would be manned. I know of no animal to take the reported g’s undergone by some UFO’s. In all due fairness to those who believe otherwise, we must readily admit that only a few years ago spacecraft, airplanes, nuclear power, television, human transplants, and many other items presently taken for granted were “impossible,” even deemed foolish for consideration. Conditions in our solar system appear to limit life as we know it (the catch phrase) to Earth, but the probability of almost identical environments just within the visible universe is extremely high. Even if, for some reason obscure to me, life must exist “as we know it,” there are, in my opinion, innumerable possibilities of such existence. Manned travel over the required distances would take life-support systems, fuel, and means of propulsion beyond our present ability to deliver in time for us to realize results; therefore it must be impossible if we can’t do it! Certain publicized activities under contract purport to be concerned with scientific and engineering studies related to UFO’s (for example, Raytheon’s Autometric Division, Stanford Research Institute, University of California, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Ford Motor Company, etc.). These may yield worthwhile results in the UFO study if the primary goal is not to pursue funded research for its own sake, as is too often the case. There is only one concrete proposal which I would extend at this time. Either we admit (1) that past funds are wasted; (2) that our technology is not up to the job; (3) that we can afford to ignore one of the potentially most significant “phenomena” in the recorded history of the human race; (4) that we will close our minds to that part of human curiosity which seeks to extend our knowledge; and (5) that we are willing to make these decisions on the flimsiest of evidence, i.e., for-the-most-part-personal opinions, OR we will make a long-overdue, concentrated, unemotional effort to ascertain (1) the existence or non-existence of hardware UFO’s, and if they exist, (2) the origin of UFO’s, (3) the means of propulsion, navigation, and associated operational characteristics of UFO’s, (4) the intent of the presence of UFO’s, and (5) surely a multitude of knowledge, and perhaps greatly extended capability which would result from studying a UFO craft and communicating with the occupants, if any.


1. Biography 2. Prepared Statement 3. Appendices   (The biography of Mr. Friedman follows:)


Born — July 29,1934, Elizabeth, New Jersey. B.Sc. — Physics, M.Sc. — Physics, University of Chicago 1955, 1956. Since 1966 — Westinghouse Astronuclear Laboratory, Pittsburgh; NERVA nuclear rocket Program — Fellow Scientist concerned primarily with radiation shielding experiments and nuclear instrumentation. 1963-1966 — Allison Division, General Motors, Indianapolis, Indiana. Military Compact Reactor program (responsible for all shielding aspects), magnetohydrodynamics, desalination, other projects. 1959-1963 — Aerojet General Nucleonics, near San Francisco. Development of various nuclear systems for space and terrestrial applications; Fusion propulsion for space, consultant on radiation shielding. 1956-1959 — General Electric, Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Department, Cincinnati. Experimental and analytical aspects of radiation shielding for nuclear aircraft. Mr. Friedman has a relatively unique background in advanced technology, having been actively involved in the development of all of the following advanced systems: nuclear aircraft, nuclear power for space, terrestrial nuclear power, nuclear rockets, fusion rockets.


  Professional affiliations include the American Physical Society, the American Nuclear Society, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Aerial Phenomenon Research Organization, the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena. Mr. Friedman is on the Board of Directors of the UFO Research Institute of Pittsburgh and on the Standards and Program Committees of the Shielding Division of the American Nuclear Society. Mr. Friedman has presented papers at technical society meetings and has chaired sessions at such meetings. He has written numerous classified and unclassified reports and has published articles on UFOs as well as on radiation shielding. Mr. Friedman has made dozens of radio and TV appearances across the United States and in Canada. These include the Joe Pyne Show (Los Angeles – radio), Long John Nebel (New York City), the J. P. McCarthy Show in Detroit, all four TV stations in Pittsburgh, and others in Raleigh, Akron, Detroit, Baltimore, Toronto, Waco, Phoenix, Calgary, Albuquerque, etc. Mr. Friedman, his wife, and three children reside at 702 Summerlea Street in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


UFO’s and Science

I am grateful to the House Committee on Science and Astronautics for inviting me to present my views on Unidentified Flying Objects.[1] These viewpoints shall be presented in the form of answers to specific questions with the references, tables and figures presented at the end of the article. A partial list of the technical organizations to which I have presented a lecture entitled “Flying Saucers are Real” is given in Appendix 1. Appendix 3 is a reprint of an article I wrote.[2] Appendix 2 is a list of patents of saucer-like vehicles. The viewpoints are mine and mine alone and are not to be construed as those of any of the organizations to which I belong or of my employer, Westinghouse Astronuclear Laboratory. The opinions are based upon ten years of study of UFOs and discussions all over the U.S. and in Canada on a private level for eight years and a public level since late 1966 both in question and answer sessions following my illustrated talks and with newspaper, radio, and television reporters with whom I have publicly discussed this subject. 1. To what conclusions have you come with regard to UFOs? I have concluded that the earth is being visited by intelligently controlled vehicles whose origin is extraterrestrial. This doesn’t mean I know where they come from, why they are here, or how they operate. 2. What basis do you have for these conclusions? Eyewitness and photographic and radar reports from all over the earth by competent witnesses of definite objects whose characteristics such as maneuverability, high speed, and hovering, along with definite shape, texture, and surface features rule out terrestrial explanations. 3. Haven’t most sightings been identified as conventional phenomena? Yes, of course. However, it is only the unidentified objects in which I am interested and on which I base my conclusions. The job of science is to sort data and focus on that which is relevant to the search at hand. Fewer than 1% of Americans have hemophilia or are 7 feet tall or can run a mile in under 4 minutes — we certainly don’t dispute the reality of hemophilia, Wilt Chamberlain, or 4 minute miles. 4. Are there any good unknowns? Yes, there are very many good unknowns which have been reported and investigated and undoubtedly very many more which have not been reported because of the “laughter curtain”. In the most comprehensive detailed scientific investigation ever conducted on this subject, and reported in Reference 3, it was found that 434 out of 2199 sightings evaluated had to be classified as Unknowns. This is 19.7% or a far higher percentage than most people have associated with UFOs. The complete breakdown is shown in Table 1. Table 2 shows the breakdown of sightings by quality. Fully one third of the 9.7% of the sightings labeled as Excellent were identified as Unknowns: one fourth of the Good sightings were labeled Unknown. All it would take to prove the reality of extraterrestrial vehicles is one good sighting not hundreds.   Footnotes at the end of article.




  Category                  Number         Percent

Astronomical                        479                         21.8

Aircraft                                  474                         21.6

Balloon                                  339                         15.4

Other                                      233                         10.6

Unknown                              434                         19.7

Insufficient Information    240                         10.9

TOTAL                 2,199                      100  

1Data from reference 3.


  Quality                  Number Percent  Unknowns             Percent  of total of group  

Excellent               213         9.7          71                           33.8

Good                      757         34.5        188                         24

Doubtful                794         36           103                         13.3

Poor                        435         19.8        72                           16.6

TOTAL                 2199       100         434                         19.7  

1Data from reference 3.

5. Aren’t most of those “unknowns” really sightings for which insufficient data is available to identify an otherwise conventional object? Absolutely not. If there was not enough information available about a sighting it was labeled “Insufficient Information” not “Unknown” — again contrary to what many people believe about UFOs.

6. Were there any differences between the Unknowns and the knowns? A “chi square” statistical analysis was performed comparing the Unknowns in this study to all the “knowns”. It was shown that the probability that the unknowns came from the same population of sighting reports as the knowns was less than 1%. This was based on apparent color, velocity, etc. Maneuverability, one of the most distinguished characteristics of UFOs, was not included in this statistical analysis.

7. Weren’t most sightings of very short duration, say less than a minute? The average duration of the sightings labeled as “Unknown” was greater than that for the knowns. More than 70% of the unknowns were under observation for more than 1 minute and more than 45% for more than 5 minutes.

8. Isn’t it true that UFOs have never been sighted on radar?

No, it is not, Ref. 3 specifically mentions radar unknowns. In ref. 4, Edward Ruppelt, former head of the official UFO investigative effort, makes specific mention of not only “Unknowns” observed on radar but of combined visual and radar “Unknowns”. Hynek[5] also mention radar and visual sightings.

9. Where can I get more information about “Unknowns” ? Ref. 6 presents an unbiased description of about 160 “Unknowns”. Ref. 7 includes data on over 700 Unknowns. References 8 and 9 contain many others.

10. Why haven’t the worldwide Smithsonian Network of Satellite Tracking cameras picked up “Unknowns”? The former head of the film evaluation group concerned with the Smithsonian sky watch said [10] that the purpose of the search was to get data on satellite orbits. If a light source on the film could be shown not to be a satellite then no further measurements were made. 10% to 15% of the plates showed anomalous light sources which were not a satellite but were not otherwise identified.

11. How about the other space surveillance radar installations?

Baker in Ref. 11 deals with this question in detail. In summary, the systems are set up to reject signals which refer to anything other than the objects of interest — typically ballistic missiles coming from certain directions.   Footnotes at the end of article.


  12. Aren’t the reported maneuvers of UFOs in violation of existing laws of physics? Not at all. This argument (“It’s Impossible”) is used when what should really be said is we don’t know how to duplicate these maneuvers. Piston aircraft can’t fly faster than the speed of sound and a conventional dynamite bomb couldn’t have wrecked Hiroshima and a vacuum tube circuit can’t fit on the head of a pin but surely we don’t say that supersonic flight, atom bombs and microcircuits violate the laws of nature or physics. Present aircraft can’t duplicate UFO maneuvers; no laws of physics have been violated by UFOs.

13. Haven’t astronomers proved that trips to other stars are impossible? Again, the answer is no. The studies [12] that conclude that trips to other stars are impossible are based upon false or unnecessary assumptions such as, assuming, that the flight be at orbital velocity.[13] The one comprehensive study of interstellar travel conducted by a JPL group actually concerned with space hardware [14] concluded that with present technology trips to nearby stars are feasible with round trip times being shorter than a man’s lifetime and without violating the laws of physics. They assumed that staged vehicles would be used having either fission or fusion propulsion systems.

14. Are fission and fusion propulsion systems actually being developed? Both fission and fusion propulsion systems for space travel are under development. I have worked on both. The NERVA program has successfully tested a number of nuclear rocket reactors suitable for use in flight throughout the solar system. Flight rated systems offering substantial advantages over chemical propulsion systems could be ready in less than a decade if the current program at Aerojet General, Westinghouse Astronuclear Laboratory, and Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory is supported. References 15 and 16 are good reviews of the nuclear rocket program. The fusion work is not nearly as far along but has been productive at Aerojet General Nucleonics, San Ramon, California. An older review of some of the aspects of this program is given in Ref. 17.

15. Are these the only possibilities? Not at all. This is one of the major flaws in the “non-believers” arguments; they presume that our technology is the ultimate — a presumption made by each generation of scientists in the last 75 years and proved wrong by the next generation of engineers and applied scientists. If there is one thing to be learned from the history of science it is that there will be new and unpredictable discoveries comparable with, say, relatively, nuclear energy, the laser, solid state physics, high field superconductivity, etc. It is generally accepted that there are civilizations elsewhere which are much more advanced than are we. Look what technological progress we have made in the last 100 years. Who can guess what we will accomplish in the next thousand years — or what others have accomplished in the thousand or million or billion year start they may have on us. We still don’t know about gravity, for example, no less anti-gravity.

16. Could UFOs be coming here from our own solar system? They certainly could. We have no data from any other body in the solar system which definitely rules out the existence of advanced civilizations. We frequently forget that the resolution of present photographs of the other planetary bodies is extremely poor. As a matter of fact, there does seem to be a direct correlation between the number of sighting reports per unit time and the closeness of Mars to the earth. Both have periodicities of about 26 months.[18] We make certain space shots at “favorable times”. The reverse may also be true but without the restrictions on payload and trajectory placed upon us by our crude, inefficient, space propulsion systems which no thoughtful engineer considers the ultimate.

17. Didn’t the Mariner IV pictures prove there isn’t any life on Mars? The Mariner pictures didn’t provide proof of life on Mars but they certainly didn’t rule it out and were not intended to. Studies[19] of 10,000 pictures of earth taken from orbit with cameras having resolving power equivalent to those on Mariner IV provided only one picture which could be taken to indicate that there is life on the planet called earth. 18. Isn’t it true that life as we know it cannot exist on any other body in the solar system? This statement, though repeated many times, is quite obviously untrue. Consider for a moment the fact that we intend to send men to the moon and by the end of the century to Mars. We expect these men to stay for a while and to return despite the fact that Mars and the moon both supposedly aren’t fit for life as we know it. One characteristic of an advanced technological civilization is the ability to provide suitable conditions for life almost anywhere; including under the


  ocean, in the void of space and on the surface of the airless, waterless moon and Mars. More and more we are also finding that life exists under almost all circumstances.

19. If we are being visited why haven’t they landed? The fact of the matter is that there are many reports of landings. The comprehensive study by scientist J. Vallee [20] reviews 200 landings which occurred in 1954 alone; many of them with multiple witnesses giving reports of humanoids in addition to strange craft either on or just above the ground. Most scientists have unfortunately not examined this data since it was published in a UFO Journal and laughter comes easier than facing up to the .evidence.

20. Has the attitude of the scientific Journals and professional community been changing? There has been a quiet yet enormous change in the attitude of the technological community. I say technological to include the applied scientists and engineers who are far more responsible for the progress of the last 30 years than the academic scientists who are prone to tell us all that is impossible. Examples of the change include the publication of articles by Science [21 22 23 24 25] Astronautics and Aeronautics, [26] the Journal of the Astronautical Sciences [11 27] the American Engineer [28 29 30] Industrial Research, [33] Scientific Research [32 33] Aviation Week and Space Technology. [34 35]. In addition, numerous pro-UFO talks have been presented to local and national meetings of professional groups (see Appendix 1 and Ref. 36, 37) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science is planning a UFO seminar for a national meeting. The AIAA has even set up a UFO Committee.

21. Have there really been any electromagnetic effects associated with UFO sightings? Indeed such reports are numerous, see for example Ref. 38, which includes stopping of car engines and headlights, and interference with radio and TV reception, magnetic speedometers, and watches.

22. Could these conceivably be related to a propulsion scheme? There is an enormous amount of work available concerned with magnetoaerodynamics. I received a NASA bibliography with more than 3000 references. Ref. 39 contains abstracts of more than 800 publications dealing with interactions between vehicles and plasmas. Much of this work is classified because ICBM nose cones are surrounded by plasmas. In any event, there is a body of technology which I have studied and which leads me to believe [2] that an entirely new approach to high speed air and space propulsion could be developed using the interactions between magnetic and electric fields with electrically conducting fluids adjacent to the vehicles to produce thrust or lift and reduce or eliminate such other hypersonic flight problems as drag, sonic boom, heating, etc. These notions are based [on] existing technology such as that included in Ref. 40 through 49 though one would expect that a considerable development effort would be required.

23. Have any electromagnetic propulsion systems been operated? So far as I know no airborne system has been operated which depended on electromagnetic forces for propulsion. At Northwestern, turning on a magnet inside a simulated re-entry vehicle with a plasma around it resulted in a change in the color of the plasma and its location relative to the vehicle. However, an electromagnetic submarine has actually been built and successfully tested. It is described in some detail in References 50-52.

24. Can an EM submarine really be related to a UFO? Dr. Way’s electromagnetic submarine which, incidentally, is silent and would be quite difficult to detect at a distance, is directly analogous to the type of airborne craft I envision except that the shape of the aircraft would most likely be lenticular and the electrically conducting seawater would be replaced with an electrically conducting plasma of ionized air.

25. Would lenticular vehicles fly?

I certainly think so. We seem to believe that airplanes have the only possible shape probably because the Wright brothers plane had the same outline which in turn was like that of birds. As pointed out by Chatham in Ref. 53, flight is still only a byproduct of high forward velocity leading to the need for long runways and high speed landings and takeoff. Present airplanes are quite obviously inefficient in terms of fuel consumption, payload fraction, and volume of air and airport space per passenger. After all the SST will only carry a few hundred passengers though it will occupy the space of a football field capable of holding at least ten times as many people. Fuel weight is greater than payload weight and neither   Footnotes at the end of article.


  is a very high fraction of system weight. It is interesting to note that most scientific progress has come from doing things differently rather than using the same technique — microcircuits aren’t Just smaller vacuum tubes; lasers aren’t just better light bulbs. Many people are not aware that the U.S. Patent Office has granted more than ten patents for what one might honestly call flying saucer shaped craft all of which claim great maneuverability and the ability to rise vertically. Some can supposedly hover. None of these use magnetoaerodynamic techniques. For those who are interested, the patents are listed in Appendix 3. This list hasn’t been up-dated for a couple of years.

26. Have any members of your audience seen any UFOs? I have taken to asking whether any members of my audiences have seen what they would call a UFO. Typically 3-10% are willing to raise their hands and usually there are others who approach me privately. These data, though limited, tend to support the Gallup Poll of 1966 which revealed that 5 million adult Americans claimed to have observed a UFO. Interestingly enough the official files contain fewer than 12,000 reports.

27. Were these sightings by your audience reported to investigative bodies?

In general, no. At Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory 20 of the 600 listeners indicated that they had seen something odd but only one had reported what he had seen.

28. Is there some way to get more data about UFOs besides reading reports?

There are several approaches that should be taken.

  • (a) Lift the “laughter curtain” so that more observers are willing to report what they see and more scientists will become involved.
  • (b) Using existing technology establish instrumented investigative teams and automated observation instrumentation such as that recommended by Dr. Baker before the Committee on Science and Astronautics.
  • (c) A world wide communication and study effort should be begun.
  • (d) A very large survey should be conducted to determine the characteristics of the objects that have been observed. The most comprehensive picture we have of ball lightning resulted from carefully conducted surveys by McNally [54] and Rayle.[55] UFOs in my opinion are definitely not ball lightning or other natural plasmas but are analogous to ball lightning and earthquakes in that their appearance cannot be predicted and they cannot be reproduced in the lab or in the field but they have been observed.

29. Are there any other references of interest to scientists? Yes, References 56-62.

30. Haven’t you biased your comments by not discussing at any length the work of Marcowitz, Menzel, and Klass?

The paper by Marcowitz [12] and the books by Menzel [63 64] and Klass [65] will undoubtedly be read by scientists of the 21st century as “classics” illustrating a non-scientific approach to UFOs by people who, for whatever reason, would not examine the data relevant to UFOs or advanced technology. Marcowitz was totally wrong about fission and fusion propulsion systems, didn’t even consider electromagnetic propulsion, and was obviously unaware of current technology and the data such as I mentioned earlier about UFOs. McDonald [62] has discussed Menzel’s approach in detail, but let me also point out that in Ref. 64, fewer than 30 sightings ever listed as “unknowns” were discussed and no mention was made of the 434 “Unknowns” of Ref. 3 or even the 71 Excellent Unknowns of this study. I agree with Klass on only one item, many people have observed glowing plasmas; but I believe they were adjacent to vehicles rather than ball lightning or corona discharge. He didn’t even consider this possibility despite all his talk about plasmas and despite the enormous amount of plasma-vehicle data which is available. In summary, I feel that these three gentlemen have made strong attempts to make the data fit their hypotheses rather than trying to do the much more difficult job of creating hypotheses which fit the data.   Footnotes at the end of article. NCAS Editor’s Note: There was a major typesetting error in the original at this point. The text starting with item (b) above, through the end of the paragraph immediately above, was replicated. In the original, this replication occupies the last ten lines of page 218 and the top third of page 219. We have deleted this error.




  1. Letter, the Honorable Edward Rousch [sic], to S. T. Friedman, July 1968.
  2. Friedman, S. T., “Flying Saucers Are Real,” Astronautics and Aeronautics, February 1968, p. 16.
  3. Davidson, L., Flying Saucers: An Analysis of Project Blue Book Special Report No. 14, 1966; $4.
  4. Ruppelt, E. J., The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, Doubleday, $5.95, 1956; Ace, $0.50.
  5. Hynek, J. A., Saturday Evening Post, December 17, 1966.
  6. Olsen, T., The Reference for Outstanding UFO Reports, 1966; $5.95.
  7. Hall, R., The UFO Evidence, 1964, NICAP; $5.
  8. Vallee, J., Anatomy of a Phenomenon, 1965; Regnery, $4.95; Ace, $0.60.
  9. Lorenzen, C. and J., UFO’s Over the Americas, 1968; Signet, $0.75.
  10. Letter, Robin E. Sanborn (former chief. Film Evaluation Section, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory) to Los Angeles Subcommittee, National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, dated July 5, 1966.
  11. Baker, R. M. L., Jr., “Future Experiments on Anomalistic Observational Phenomena,” Journal of the Astronautical Sciences, Vol. XV, No. 1, January 1968. 11: 44-45.
  12. Markowitz, “The Physics and Metaphysics of Unidentified Flying Objects,” Science, 157, pp. 1274-1279 (1967).
  13. “A Fresh Look at Flying Saucers,” Time Magazine, August 4, 1967.
  14. Spencer, D. F. and Jaffe, L. D., “Feasibility of Interstellar Travel,” Acta Astronautica, Vol. IX Fasc. 2, 50-58, 1963.
  15. Spence, R. W., “The Rover Nuclear Rocket Program,” Science, 160: 3831, May 31, 1968, pp. 953-959.
  16. Schroeder, R. W., “NERVA — Entering a New Phase,” Astronautics and Aeronautics, 6:5, May 1968, pp. 42-53.
  17. Luce, J. S., “Controlled Fusion Propulsion,” Proceedings of 3rd Symposium on Advanced Propulsion Concepts, Vol. 1, Gordon and Breach Science Publishers, New York, 1963, pp. 343-380.
  18. Salisbury, F. B., “The Possibilities of Life on Mars,” Proceedings, Conference on the Exploration of Mars and Venus, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, August 1965.
  19. Kilston, S. N.; Drummond, R. R.; Sagan, C., “A Search for Life on Earth at Kilometer Resolution,” Icarus, Vol. 5, January 1966, pp. 79-98.
  20. Vallee, J., “The Pattern of UFO Landings,” Flying Saucer Review, Special Issue, “Humanoids — A Survey of Worldwide Reports of Landings of Unconventional Aerial Objects and Their Alleged Occupants.” October-November 1966 ; $2.
  21. Hynek, J. A., “UFO’s Merit Scientific Study,” Science, October 21, 1966, and Astronautics & Aeronautics, December 1966, p. 4.
  22. Powers, W., “UFO in 1800: Meteor?” Science, 160, June 14. 1968, p. 1260.
  23. Rosa, R. J., Powers, W. T., Vallee, J., Gibbs, T. R. P., Steffey, P. C., Garcia, R. A., and Cohen, G., Science, Vol. 158, No. 3806, pp. 1265-1266 (1967).
  24. Page, T., “Photographic Sky Coverage for the Detection of UFO’s,” Science, 160, June 14, 1968. p 1258.
  25. “UFO Project: Trouble on the Ground.” Science, 161, July 26. 1968, pp. 339-342.
  26. “Baker, R. M., Jr., “Observational Evidence of Anomalistic Phenomena,” J. Astronaut Sci., August 1967.
  27. Baker, R. M„ Jr., “Observational Evidence of Anomalistic Phenomena,” J. Astronaut. Sci., XV, No. 1, January-February 1968.
  28. “Morse, R. F., “UFO’s and the Technological Community,” American Engineer, 38: 5, May 1968, pp 24-28.
  29. Fowler, R. E., “Engineer Involvement in UFO Investigations,” American Engineer, 38: 5, May 1968, pp 24-28.
  30. Moller, P. S. Engineering Professor Teaches UFO Course at the University of California,” American Engineer, May 1968, pp. 32-34.
  31. “UFO Study Credibility Cloud?” Industrial Research, June 1968.



  1. Scientific Research, May 13, 1968, p. 11.
  2. Scientific Research, May 30, 1968.
  3. Klass, P. J., Aviation week and Space Technology, August 22, 1966, p. 48, see also October 10, 1966, p. 130.
  4. Klass, P. J., Aviation Week and Space Technology, October 8, 1966. p. 54.
  5. Morgan, D. L., Jr. “Evaluating Extreme Movements of UFO’s and Postulating an Explanation of Effects of Tones [sic] on Their Maneuverability,” Design Engineering Conference, ASME Meeting, New York, May 15-18, 1967, Session 10.
  6. Earley, G. W. “Unidentified Flying Objects: An Historical Perspective,” Design Engineering Conference ASME Meeting. New York. May 15-18 1967. Session 10.
  7. Maney, Prof. C. A., and Hall, R., The Challenge of Unidentified Flying Objects, 1961, $8.50.
  8. Literature Search No. 541, “Interactions of Spacecraft and Other Moving Bodies with Natural Plasmas,” December 1965, Jet Propulsion Laboratory; 182 gages, 829 references.
  9. Jarvinen, P. 0., “On the Use of Magnetohydrodynamics During High Speed Reentry,” NASA-CR-206, April 1965.
  10. Nowak, R. et al. “Magnetoaerodynamic Reentry,” AIAA Paper 66-161, AIAA Plasmadynamics Conference, March 2-4, 1966.
  11. Kawashima, N. and Mori, S., “Experimental Study of Forces on a Body in a Magnetized Plasma,” AIAA Journal, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 1968. pp. 110-118.
  12. Ericson, W., Maciulaitis, A. and Falco, M., “Magnetoaerodynamic Drag and Flight Control, Grumann Research Department Report, RE 282J, November 1965.
  13. Smith, M. C., “Magnetohydrodynamic Re-entry Control,” January 1965, Rand Corporation Memo, RM-4380-NASA.
  14. Cambel, A. B., “The Phenomenological Aspects of Magnetogasdynamic Re-entry,.” Presented at the 10th Midwestern Mechanics Conference, Colorado State University, August 1967.
  15. Porter, R. W., and. Cambel, A. B., “Magnetic Coupling in Flight Magnetoaerodynamics,” AIAA Journal, Vol. 5, No. 4, April 1967. pp. 808-805.
  16. Kranc, S., Porter, R. W., and Cambel, A. B., “Electrodelees Magnetogasdynamic Power during Entry,” Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, Vol. 4, No. 5, June 1967, pp. 813-815.
  17. Seemann, G. R., Cambel, A. B., “Observations Concerning Magnetoaerodynamic Drag and Shock Standoff Distance,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 55, No. 3. pp. 457-465, March 1966.
  18. Porter, R. W., Cambel, A. B. “Comment on ‘Magnetohydroynamic-Hypersonic Viscous and Inviscid Flow near the Stagnation Point of a Blunt Body,'” AIAA Journal, May 1966 952-953.
  19. Way, S., “Propulsion of Submarines by Lorentz Forces in the Surrounding Sea,” ASME paper 64-WA/ENER-7, Winter Meeting, New York City, November 29, 1964.
  20. Way, S., “Electromagnetic Propulsion for Cargo Submarines,” Paper 67-363, AIAA/SNAME Advanced Marine Vehicles Meeting, Norfolk, Virginia, May 22-24, 1967.
  21. Way, S., Devlin, C., “Prospects for the Electromagnetic Submarine,” Paper 67-432, AIAA 3rd Propulsion Joint Specialist Conference, Washington, D.C., July 7-21, 1967.
  22. Chatham, G. C., “Towards Aircraft of the 1980’s”, Astronautics and Aeronautics, July 1968, pp. 26-38.
  23. McNally., J. R., “Preliminary Report on Ball Lightning”, 2nd Annual Meeting of Division of Plasma Physics, American Physical Society, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, November 1960.
  24. Rayle, W. D,. “Ball Lightning Characteristics,” NASA-TN-D-3188, January 1966.
  25. Berliner, D., “The UFO From the Designer’s Viewpoint”, Air Progress, October 1967.
  26. Salisbury, F. B., “The Scientist and the UFO”, Bio Science, January 1967, pp. 15-24.
  27. Zigel, F., “Unidentifiable Flying Objects”, Soviet Life, February 1968. pp. 27-29.
  28. “Saucers, Hoax or Hazards”, Engineering Opportunities, September 1967, pp. 17-24; 44-50.
  29. Kachur, V., “Space Scientists and the UFO Phenomenon, An Informal Survey,” Biospace Associates Report No. 672, August 1967.
  30. Hynek, J. A., “How to Photograph a UFO,” Popular Photography, 62.3, March. 1968, p. 69.
  31. McDonald, J. E., “UFOs Greatest Scientific Problem of Our Times,” October 1967, available from UFORI, Suite 311, 508 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219, $1.00.
  32. Menzel, D. H., Flying Saucers, Harvard, 1953.
  33. Menzel, D. H., and Boyd, L., The World of Flying Saucers, Doubleday, 1963.
  34. Klass, P. J., UFOs Identified, 1968.


S. T. Friedman has talked about UFOs to these groups (partial list): Engineering Society of Detroit Engineering Society of Baltimore Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory Local sections of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Wichita, Kansas; Cumberland, Maryland; Waco, Texas; San Antonio, Texas; Raleigh, North Carolina; New York, New York. Local sections of the Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; Salisbury, Maryland; New London, Connecticut. Professional Engineers of Western Pennsylvania. American Nuclear Society in Pittsburgh and Las Vegas, Nevada. Pittsburgh Chemists Club. Computer Simulation Council of Western Pennsylvania. Dravo Corporation Engineers Club, Pittsburgh.


  Society of American Military Engineers. Universal Cyclops Corporation Engineers Meeting. 22nd Annual Frequency Control Symposium. Duke University. Wesleyan University. University of Texas. Carnegie Mellon University. University of Illinois, Chicago. West Virginia University.



Patent No.             By                           Title                                                                                                                       Granted                                                

3,067,967              I.R. Barr                                Flying machine                                                                                                    Dec. 11, 1962

2,772,968              J.C. Fischer, Jr       Circular aircraft and control system therefor                                                 Nov. 27, 1956

2,947,496              A.L. Leggett          Jet-propelled aircraft                                                                                           Aug. 2, 1960

2,801,058              C.P. Lent               Saucer-shaped aircraft                                                                                       July 30, 1957

2,876,964              H.F. Streib             Circular wing aircraft                                                                                          Mar. 10, 1959

2,997,013              W.A. Rice              Propulsion system                                                                                               Aug. 22, 1961

3,124,323              J.C.M. Frost          Aircraft propulsion and control                                                                        Mar. 10, 1964

2,876,965              H.P. Streib             Circular wing aircraft with universally tiltable ducted powerplant             Mar. 10, 1959

2,939,648              H. Fleissner           Rotating jet aircraft with lifting disk wing and centrifuging tanks             June 7, 1960

3,103,324              N.C. Price              High velocity, high altitude VTOL aircraft                                                     Sept 10, 1963



There area few standard responses to any statement that “the earth is being visited by intelligently controlled vehicles whose origin is extraterrestrial.” The simplest is ridicule, coupled with a comment that flying saucers are figments of the imagination, or optical illusions, or motes in the eye, or hoaxes, or misidentified conventional phenomena seen under unusual circumstances by untrained observers. These, however, are all Identified Flying Objects, and not the Unidentified Flying Objects with which my statement is concerned. The next simplest response is: “We are certainly not alone in the Universe and surely some civilizations are more advanced than ours, but interstellar travel is not feasible because of the vast distances between such civilizations and the great quantity of energy and time required for the trip.” These critics ignore our lack of data on intercivilization distances the possibility of unknown (to us) flight technology, and studies in this area.[1] Another response is that the reported activity of UFOs is not rational since, if “they” were advanced enough to get here, they would surely try to communicate with us. These responses avoid coming to grips with the reported data. Those interested in data — and there is plenty of it [2-13] — are advised to consult the References and derive a hypothesis other than extraterrestrial vehicles to fit the facts, rather than to try to make the facts fit the hypothesis that “we are not being visited because — ” ( in 25 words or less ). A particularly interesting aspect of the data from all over the world is that electromagnetic effects are frequently observed in association with the presence of UFOs, along with the fact that many observations suggest that what is being observed is a “vehicle” having a plasma region adjacent toil — “vehicle” because of its metal-like surface, large size, maneuvers indicating intelligent control, well-defined shape, surface features such as “port holes, antenna, landing gears,” lights, etc.; and plasma because of bright glows rather than color, changes in the color of the glow associated with changes in velocity, luminous boundary layers, and appearance on film of regions not seen by the naked eye. The EM effects include interference with the operation of automobile engines, radios, and headlights; interference with the operation of radio and TV sets, compasses, magnetic speedometers, power systems; residual magnetism in metal objects, watches, etc. [13] During the past decade a vast amount of terrestrial technology, much of it classified, has been developed concerning the interactions of airborne vehicles and   Footnotes at the end of article.


  plasmas.[14] The development of lightweight, compact, high-field superconducting magnets has also led to much work on the potential benefits to be derived from placing a magnet within a high-speed vehicle to interact with a plasma around the vehicle. Such a combination might be used to reduce vehicle heating, control aerodynamic drag, exert control forces on the vehicle, provide power for its operation, open a “magnetic” communications window, and change the vehicle radar profile. In addition, the magnets might be used to provide shielding against space radiation. Numerous reports cover such applications.[13-17] A review of this literature and an extrapolation of existing technology suggest that with considerable effort an entirely new EM approach to hypersonic flight might be developed which, in many respects, could duplicate UFO characteristics. In turn, this leads to the notion that observed UFO behavior is not so unreasonable as might at first appear to be the case. The measurement of EM parameters of UFOs could well provide information on both UFO characteristics and new propulsion.


(Items 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 13 available from UFO Research Institute, Suite 311, 508 Grant St., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219.)

  1. Spencer, D. F. and Jaffe, L. D., “Feasibility of Interstellar Travel,” Acta Astronautica, Vol. IX. Fasc. 2, 50-58, 1963.
  2. The UFO Evidence, National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, 1964.
  3. Olsen, T., The Reference for Outstanding UFO Sighting Reports, Oct. 1966, $5.95.
  4. Project Blue Book: Special Report No. 14, Davidson, 3rd Edition, 1966, $4.00.
  5. “Humanoids — Worldwide Survey of Landings and Alleged Occupants,” Special Issue of Flying Saucer Review, October-November, 1966. $2.00.
  6. McDonald, James E., UFOs: Greatest Scientific Problem of Our Times, Oct. 1967. $1.00.
  7. Hynek, J. Allen, “UFOs Merit Scientific Study,” Science, Oct. 21, 1966, and Astronautics & Aeronautics, Dec. 1966, p. 4.
  8. Vallee, Jacques, Anatomy of a Phenomenon, Regnery, 1965, $4.95. Ace Books, 1966, $.60.
  9. Vallee, Jacques and Janine, Challenge to Science — The UFO Enigma, Regnery, 1966, $5.95. Also paper, $.75.
  10. Michel, A., The Truth About Flying Saucers, Criterion, 1956. $3.95.
  11. Michel A., Flying Saucers and the Straight Line Mystery, Criterion, 1958. $4.50.
  12. Ruppelt, E. J., The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, Doubleday, 1956. $2.95.
  13. Maney, Prof. C. A., and Hall, Richard, The Challenge of Unidentified Flying Objects, 1961. $3.50.
  14. Literature Search No. 541, “Interactions of Spacecraft and Other Moving Bodies with Natural Plasmas,” Dec. 1965, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 182 pages, 829 references.
  15. Jarvinen, P. O., “On the Use of Magnetohydrodynamics During High Speed Reentry,” NASA-CR-206, April 1965.
  16. Nowak, R., et al, “Magnetoaerodynamic Reentry,” AIAA Paper 66-161, AIAA Plasmadynamics Conference, March 2-4, 1966.
  17. Kawashima, Nobuki and Mori, Sigeru, “Experimental Study of Forces on a Body in a Magnetized Plasma,” AIAA Journal, Vol. 6, No. 1, Jan. 1968, pp. 110-113.

S. T. Friedman Westinghouse Astronuclear Laboratory


1. Biography 2. Prepared Statement   (The biography of Dr. Shepard follows:)


Roger N. Shepard is professor of psychology at Stanford. University. Previously he was professor and then director of the psychological laboratories at Harvard and, for eight years before that, member of technical staff and then department head at the Bell Telephone Laboratories. He obtained his Ph.D. in experimental psychology from Yale (1955), and has published some 30 technical and scientific papers on human perception and memory and on computer methods for discovering patterns in large arrays of data. Although, he has had a long-standing interest in the problem of UFOs, this is his first paper on this particular subject.



  Abstract Unpredictability of UFO Phenomena UFO Phenomena as Psychological Problem Three Extreme Case Types Potential Contribution of Psychological Techniques Reconstruction by Recognition Convergence of Independent Reconstructions Use of Concrete Stimuli Photographs as concrete Stimuli UFO Photographs as Evidence Assessment of a Set of Test Materials Use of the Computer ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS REFERENCES


Even if our interest is in the study of UFO’s as some sort of extraordinary physical phenomenon (whether of natural or, possibly, of intelligent, extraterrestrial origin), our study cannot ignore the inescapable fact that nearly all of our evidence comes — not from physical measuring instruments — but from human observers. So far, however, we have consistently sold the human observer short Indeed, in neglecting to make use of psychologically oriented techniques that would more fully enable observers to bring to bear their really rather remarkable powers of perception and recognition, we may have been forfeiting the opportunity of obtaining evidence from independent observers that would be sufficiently convergent and well-defined to clarify the true nature of the phenomena.

The extent to which the apparent unpredictability of UFO Phenomena Hinders their scientific study

The scientific investigation of a set of phenomena becomes possible whenever those phenomena exhibit some discernible degree of order or pattern. Scientific study is of course greatly facilitated when, as in astronomy, the order strongly emerges in the form of a space-time pattern of the very occurrences themselves. For, only then, can we arrange to have suitably trained observers suitably “training” powerful and, hence necessarily, highly directional recording and measuring instruments on the right place at the right time. Indeed, by contrast with astronomical phenomena, those loosely classified together as “Unidentified Flying Objects’ (“UFO’s”) or (with perhaps somewhat less commitment implied as to their real nature) “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena” sometimes appear almost inaccessible to scientific study. Certainly phenomena that are rare and fleeting are difficult enough but, if in addition they are totally capricious and unpredictable when they do occur, then the scientific method is to no avail and we are reduced to awaiting each new happening in the same primitive state of uncomprehending docility. The repeated successes of science, however, have encouraged us always to search for pattern and order even when none at first appears. And, although a scientific study does of course become enormously more difficult when the occurrences of the phenomena do not fall into any predictable pattern in space and time, it remains a possibility so long as some regularity exists within the phenomena themselves — whenever they do happen to occur. Thus, in the field of psychopathology, even if it were the case that some psychological phenomena (such, say, as psychotic episodes) occurred wholly unpredictably — striking any person at any time, quite at random, we could still study the internal patterns of such episodes when they do strike. We might for example find that when symptom A appears, it is usually accompanied by symptom B, but seldom by symptom C, and so on. This, too, is a kind of predictability and can even lead to a degree of understanding and perhaps, eventually, to a method of treatment.


  Similarly, in the case of UFO episodes, it may be possible to discover some regularities or patterns within these episodes even though any clear overall pattern in their mere occurrences (except, possibly for the tendency to unpredicted local concentrations in space and time) continues to elude us. This is not to say that efforts — such as those of Michel (1958) and of Vallee and Vallee (1966) — to detect some overall pattern should not be pursued, but only that the attempt at a scientific study need not await a positive outcome of those efforts.

The principal sense in which the problem of UFO phenomena is a psychological problem

In the meantime, a scientific study of these phenomena is not impossible — just more difficult. For, we are faced for the most part with a problem — not of making physical measurements — but of interpreting verbal reports. We are faced, in short, with a problem amenable more to the methods of the psychologist than to those of the physical scientist It is the principal purpose of this note to propose that, despite the relatively primitive state of development of psychological science, psychological and social scientists and even, indeed, law enforcement specialists have devised some techniques that could as well be applied to further the scientific study of UFO’s. I do not mean to suggest by this that most reports of UFO’s can probably be shown to arise from purely psychological aberrations such as illusions, hallucinations, delusions, after-images, and the like. On the contrary, a careful examination of most of the best-documented cases has convinced me — as at least one psychologist who has studied rather extensively into the fields of normal and psychopathological perception-that very few such cases can be explained along these lines. Indeed, I have the impression that the claims that the UFO’s reported even by seemingly responsible citizens represent lapses of a basically psychopathological character have generally come from people who have neglected to study closely either into the literature on psychopathology, or into that on UFO’s, or (in many cases, I fear) both.

The desirability of separating three psychologically extreme types of UFO Cases

I have so far ignored the reports of the so-called “contactees” and related cultists who seem to form a relatively distinct class and who are generally readily identifiable without the benefit of extensive psychological training. Insofar as possible, I should also like to disregard the reports of out-and-out hoaxters. Admittedly, however, these present a somewhat more troublesome problem to which we must return later — particularly in connection with photographs and other types of alleged physical evidence. Of course there always are ambiguous cases which are difficult to place certainly within the triangle defined by the three, psychologically distinct “corners” representing the deluded contactee, the conscious pranksters, and the involuntary but responsible witness of some real but puzzling phenomenon. However, as has often been remarked, the existence of twilight does not deter us from distinguishing between night and day — nor should it. In fact, science generally proceeds most rapidly by focusing first on the purest and most clear-cut cases, and by leaving for later any “mop-up” operation of dealing with the remaining cases that are to varying degrees complicated, mixed, messy, borderline, or obscure. Thus the social scientist who is primarily interested in studying the formation and perpetuation of delusional belief systems will do well to focus precisely on the members of the “contactee” cults, the archetypal examples of which are situated in the south-western United States and are heavily constituted by persons (often predominantly women rather past middle age) who have relatively little formal education together with a history of professed beliefs in the mystical, the spiritual, or the occult. Likewise, a clinical psychologist interested in the ways in which socially responsible adult behavior emerges or fails to emerge out of the play and testing behavior of childhood may learn something from an intensive study of any of the almost canonical cases of adolescent boys who, often in pairs and in accordance with an almost tiringly regular pattern, attain at least transitory notoriety by submitting their photograph of a “flying saucer” — replete with dome, antenna, and, perhaps, portholes and fins. Just so, if we are, as here, primarily concerned with the possibility of unexplained but objective phenomena taking place within our atmosphere, then we should eschew not only the two pure sorts of cases just mentioned, but also the


  various more-or-less obscure or ill-defined cases falling somewhere within the “triangle.” (Indeed, to throw all such intermediate cases together, without adequate regard for the reliability or credibility of each report — as some investigators have tended to do for the purposes of compiling over-all statistics concerning “UFO activity” — can, I think, lead to a largely uninterpretable picture. For, there is then no way of assessing or parceling out the “noise” contributed by the contactee, the prankster and, of course, the many well-meaning citizens who, under unusual circumstances, will continue to misidentify familiar phenomena.) Rather, we stand to learn most from an intensive study into those numerous cases represented by the remaining “corner” of the triangle in which converging evidence from apparently involuntary, independent, and responsible witnesses strongly points to the occurrence of an objective phenomenon of an unexplained character.

The potential contribution of psychological techniques to the study even of purely physical phenomena

Even though our primary interest is, then, on the unexplained objective and presumably physical phenomena that may give rise to such UFO reports, our problem remains as much a psychological as a physical one. For, the vast bulk of the data upon which we must base our scientific investigation comes — not from physical recording or measuring devices — but solely from one or more human observers. Moreover these are observers who were not, evidently, selected for their powers of observation or description and who have good reason to be reluctant as well — particularly in view of the likelihood of ridicule, often encouraged, curiously, by the very investigators who profess to be seeking the truth (cf., Fuller, 1966, pp. 211-220; Weitzel, 1967). It is here, surely, that we have been most glaringly remiss in our attempts to put the investigation of UFO’s on a scientific footing. We have, simply, failed to make anywhere near full use of the one recording and measuring instrument at our disposal; namely, our unwitting human witness. Now it is true that one of the more exotic psychological techniques, hypnotic regression, has already been attempted with interesting — if considerably less than conclusive results in at least one UFO case of a rather sensational nature (Fuller, 1967). However, although astonishing claims have sometimes been made for the kind of detail that can be recovered under hypnosis (e.g., by McCulloch in von Foerster, 1952, p. 100), the results of controlled experiments on accuracy of recall have generally been less impressive (Reiff & Scheerer, 1959). More reliable, in my opinion, are some techniques based on certain psychological facts of a more mundane but better understood character.

The power of methods guided by recognition rather than description in the reconstruction of a fleeting event

It is, I suppose, a fact familiar to us all that we can take in and remember much more information than we can readily communicate to others. Contrast, for example, how easily we recognize the face of a friend in a crowd with how difficult it is to describe that face so that any other person could then do it for us. Quite generally, our powers of recognition exceed our powers of description (and, indeed, surpass anything that we have yet been able to accomplish by physical instrument or machine). In an experiment on recognition memory, I once presented human subjects with over 600 different pictures, one right after the other, and then found that they could immediately distinguish between, those “old” pictures and otherwise completely comparable “new” pictures with median accuracy of over 98% (Shepard, 1967). Even when the test was not given until a week later, the discriminations between “old” and “new” pictures were still 92% correct. Moreover, the advantage of recognition over verbal description, should become especially pronounced when the object or event to be remember is unfamiliar and, so, not uniquely or succinctly “captured” by readily available terms or labels. Over and over again, witnesses of “UFO’s” have provided descriptions that, while they strongly suggest that a clear view was obtained of some well-defined but extraordinary object or phenomenon, leave the investigator frustratingly in the dark as to its precise appearance or behavior. A closely viewed, “spinning metallic” object is said, for example, to have been “mushroom-shaped,” or to have resembled “an inverted top.” But what does this mean? What sort of mushroom? With or without the stalk? And what on earth (!) is referred to, precisely, by “a 30 foot inverted top?”


  Some psychologists have been expressly studying the ways in which people come to describe nearly nondescript objects to others (e.g., Krauss & Weinheimer, 1964, 1966). Often a person will feel that the ambiguous term he comes up with (such, for example, as “an inverted top”) does quite well. Possibly this is because he is picturing some particular interpretation (e.g„ a particular toy that he played with as a child). For the listener who does not have that particular picture in mind, however, the description may prove either meaningless or, worse, completely misleading (cf., Glucksberg, Krauss, & Weisberg, 1966). An indication of the same sort of problem is the tendency of witnesses to say things like “it looked about the size of a football.” Further circumstances make clear that they must have been referring to its apparent visual size rather than its real, physical size (which could, after all, hardly be estimated without also knowing its real, physical distance). More pertinently here, it appears that they were really talking more about its shape than its size. Possibly, the presence, so to speak, of a very vivid image in the mind of the witness causes him to lose sight of the total inadequacy of his verbal encoding of that image. This problem is already implicitly recognized in certain situations of more obviously pressing practical concern. Investigators in cases of homicide do not rest content with the weak and fuzzy descriptions typically offered by a witness but, in addition, may employ a skilled artist (such as Richard Kenehan of the New York Police Department) to work with the witness in an attempt to reconstruct a usable likeness of the murderer’s face. The witness may be asked to select eyes, eyebrows, nose, mouth, or ears from series that are systematically graded in size and shape. The witness can then help to adjust their positions on an outlined face. This will generally provide a sufficiently concrete stimulus to enable the witness, finally, to become reasonably explicit about further refinements concerning hair, complexions, lines, scars, asymmetries, and so on. In a number of cases (such as the recent one in which Richard Speck was charged with the murder of several nursing students in Chicago) a likeness constructed in this way from a single surviving witness has proved remarkably accurate and, in more than one instance, has actually led to the apprehension of the criminal (cf., Schumach, 1958). This provides perhaps the most directly pertinent substantiation for the one central point that I want to leave with those concerned with the investigation of UFO’s. Briefly, it is this: Even when an event occurs without warning, leaves little time for careful observation and, indeed, occasions extreme fear or anxiety, the average witness often retains an accurate, almost photographic record of the event — a record, moreover, that can be largely recovered from him even though he lacks the words to describe it himself. Possibly then, in allowing our investigations to depend solely upon our informant’s inadequate, his misleading and, yes, his sometimes even ludicrous choice of words, we have done both him — and ourselves — a telling disservice.

The desirability of establishing a system permitting convergence of independent reconstructions

Admittedly, in the case of UFO’s, the value of information provided by a single, isolated witness — however detailed that information may be — is, by itself, always quite small (except, of course, for the witness himself!). For, from the standpoint of any other person, there is always at least the possibility of hallucination, delusion or, more likely, just plain fabrication. This is amply pointed up by the relative lack of evidential value of the many quite detailed photographs purported to have been taken of UFOs by solitary witnesses. It is only when there turns up an otherwise inexplicably close correspondence between the information furnished by two or more independent witnesses that the evidence becomes at all compelling at the public or scientific level. But we do not provide for even the possibility of a close correspondence unless we elicit sufficiently detailed information. Thus, when one person reports a “glowing mushroom-shaped object” while another, remote witness refers to the passage of an “inverted top,” we have little basis for evaluating the likelihood that they have both observed a physical object — let alone the same physical object Now it is true that certain rather suggestive regularities have already emerged in the more or less spontaneous reports of observers. Among the very most common, for example, are the frequent references to disk-like shapes, to extraordinary velocities, to abrupt simultaneous changes of color and direction and, perhaps most strikingly, to the so-called “pendulum” or “falling-leaf” type


  of descent. Still, much more detailed information concerning such things as shape could presumably be extracted by techniques (akin to those already used in criminal cases) designed to take fuller advantage of the witnesses’ usually untapped but vastly more discriminating powers of recognition. The point, here, is that such more detailed information is needed not merely for its own sake. It is needed, even before that, because the establishment of the very validity of the information in question hinges upon the demonstration of the kind of point-for-point correspondence between reports that becomes possible only when those reports are sufficiently detailed. If two, unrelated witnesses both claim to have seen a disk-shaped object at about the same time and place this is not sufficiently compelling. (Evidently! For it has already happened many times.) But, if artists working with the two witnesses, independently, construct pictures of what appears to be the very same object or, alternatively, if the two witnesses independently point to the very same drawing or photograph in an array of 50 or more different pictures of such objects, then the coincidence becomes more interesting. (And, of course, if the pictures reconstructed or singled out in this way just once turned out to coincide, also, with an actual photograph taken at the time, we should at last have opened the door for the more precise measurements of physical science-including the sophisticated and powerful photogrammetric methods being developed for the analysis and interpretation of lunar photographs.) The establishment of a pre-tested and standardized procedure for reconstructing information by the sort of psychologically oriented techniques envisaged here, moreover, would be incomparably cheaper than the implementation of other more physically oriented schemes that have sometimes been proposed — such as the construction of a far-flung network of automatic radar-and-camera stations. For, instead of having simultaneously to cover all possible sites in advance, we could simply move in to recover the desired information after an incident is first reported. There is, however, one unavoidable aspect of the psychologically oriented type of approach proposed here that I, anyway, regard as quite regrettable. To the extent that any detailed pictures reconstructed by these techniques are made publicly available, we cannot guarantee that pictures obtained from subsequent witnesses will be suitably independent for our purposes. Consequently, rather tight security precautions would have to be imposed on the more detailed reconstructions, if the purely scientific purposes of the investigation are not to be compromised.

The use of concrete stimuli to provide a basis for the independent, recognition-guided process of reconstruction

The need for ensuring independence of information supplied by different witnesses is in fact so great that it is doubtful whether much reliance could safely be placed on different pictures reconstructed with the help of the same artist. Despite the best intentions of the artist, he might unwittingly guide different witnesses along somewhat similar channels by means of subtle, perhaps unconscious cues (cf., Rosenthal, 1966). Moreover, even if a different artist could be supplied for each witness, we would still be left with the problem of evaluating the likelihood that any two pictures constructed in this way could have turned out as similarly as they did by chance alone. For these reasons and for reasons of feasibility, convenience, and economy, it would be preferable to develop a standardized set of materials containing suitably representative and graded series of shapes to which each witness could independently respond. Some such materials would be needed, in any case, in order to provide stimuli suitable for tapping the witnesses’ powers of recognition. Possibly even separate arrays should be constructed for distinguishable parts such as “domes” or other projections (just as separate series of eyes, or mouths may be helpful to the witness in criminal cases). By means of suitable standardization and control in the preparation and presentation of such materials, then, we could be reasonably sure that the responses of one witness are not unduly influencing the choices of another. Moreover, since each witness would make his choices from a pre-tested, fixed set of alternatives of known size, we would be in a favorable position to assess the probability that any coincidences of choice might have occurred merely by chance. All things considered, the best procedure might be to divide the questioning of a witness into the following three distinct phases: first, the recording of the


  witness describing what he saw as completely as he can, in his own words, and without any cues (whether verbal or pictorial) that might bias him in one direction or another; second, the recording of his responses to the standardized, pictorial materials; and third (if the case seems to warrant it) the foil reconstruction of a new picture with the help of a suitably trained artist. Such a new picture, if sufficiently novel or well-defined, might then be incorporated in future revisions of the materials used for the second phase of the interview. The effectiveness of the proposed procedure would depend very heavily upon the amount of thought, care, skill and, above all, pretesting that went into the preparation of the materials. The arrays of alternative shapes should of course include all types of shapes that have been clearly described, sketched, or (allegedly) actually photographed by some previous witness of at least reasonable reliability. One helpful attempt at systematizing the kinds of shapes that have been reported has in fact already been published (see Hall, 1964, p. 144). However, more extensive and refined work would be necessary in order to cover the great variety of reported shapes, and to do this in a sufficiently concrete and realistic manner to promote recognition and, possibly, further specification by witnesses. The use of photographs of alleged UFOs as a source of concrete test materials Since photographs represent an especially tempting vehicle for the hoaxter and, in addition, are easily faked, they are individually of little value as evidence — except in the rare cases in which there were independent, corroborating eyewitnesses. Photographs purporting to be of UFOs are, however, surprisingly numerous. (I myself have assembled well over 150 distinct such photographs merely from published reports.) Moreover, since at least one of these photographs might be authentic and since we have no sure way of knowing in advance which one it might be, we can not afford to eliminate any distinct type that hasn’t already been proved to be a fraud. In the meantime, moreover, the other, spurious photographs can serve (in somewhat the same way as the non-suspects in a police “line-up”) as a means of assessing consistency of choice or, contrary-wise, mere guessing on the part of different witnesses. The accompanying figure reproduces drawings in which I have tried to portray, as accurately as I could, representative objects from 63 of these photographs. The greater contrast of the drawings renders them more readily duplicatable than the original photographs. Moreover, I was also able in this way to reduce them all to uniform size and to eliminate background details which, although useful for estimating size or gauging authenticity, are only distracting for present purposes. Some of the photographs are from well documented or widely publicized cases while others are of more obscure or dubious origin. At least two cases have subsequently been admitted to be hoaxes, while circumstances surrounding some of the others make them difficult to dismiss in this way.




UFO Shape Array


  Nevertheless, the single most striking tiling about these pictures — far from [there] being any general uniformity in their appearance — is their largely irreconcilable diversity. Whether or not this diversity is interpreted as detracting from their value as evidence, it surely cannot be taken as contributing to that value. It does, however, serve our immediate, rather different purpose of providing an initial sample from which to extrapolate and interpolate an eventual graded array of the sort that we seek for purposes of testing witnesses. Some Incidental Comments on the Status of Photographs of Alleged UFOs as a Source of Evidence Themselves Before leaving the photographs themselves, however, it should be noted that there are a few instances of rather suggestive similarities between these photographs. A frequently cited case is the striking resemblance between E6, reportedly taken by a farmer, Paul Trent, as he was returning home with his wife near McMinville, Oregon in June 1950, and ET, allegedly taken by a French military pilot near Rouen, France in March 1954. Another example, involving several different sightings, is shown in the upper right. G1, G2, and. G3 present three successive views of the same object purportedly taken by a photographer, Ed Keffel, of the Brazilian publication “O Cruziero” while he was accompanied by a journalist, Joao Martins, near Rio de Janeiro in May, 1952. The edge-on view, G1, is almost indistinguishable from another photograph, represented in F1, allegedly taken from an Argentine pursuit plane in late 1954. The “top” view, G2, seemingly resembles F2 (the left edge of which was cut off by the boundary of the original photograph), which a 15-year-old boy, Michael Savage, claims to have taken near San Bernardino, California in July, 1956. It also somewhat resembles the lighted object, F3, allegedly appearing in a color photograph taken by Joseph Sigel near Waikiki, Hawaii in June, 1959. And, finally, the “bottom” view, G3, presents the same general sort of configuration as that shown in G4, which is based upon a photograph purportedly taken by Yukuse Matsumura outside his residence in Yokohama, Japan in January 1957 (although the relative dimensions of the features appear slightly different in these last two photographs). There are several other instances in which photographs taken by apparently unrelated individuals might be of the same object. Another view (not included in the figure) showing more of the “bottom” of the object displayed in E4 resembles the object shown in G5 and, even more closely, an object apparently hovering over a seaplane in still another photograph (also not included) of unknown origin. In a number of instances (e.g., F5, 6, and 7 or D6, 7, and 8) the degree of correspondence is more difficult to assess owing to the relatively poorer definition of the images. Of course even very close similarities do not in themselves guarantee authenticity. Consider, for example, C2 and C3 which are strikingly similar despite the fact that the object in C2 appears over a mountain near Riverside, California in the original photograph reportedly taken by a 21-year-old man and two friends in 1951, whereas the object in C3 appears over a flock of grazing sheep in the photograph submitted by an Australian rancher in 1954. But, since the object in C2 has subsequently been admitted to be none other than a 1967 Ford hubcap, the object in C3 is presumably the same. (Another photograph later confessed to be fraudulent is represented in B6, and somewhat suspicious circumstances also surround several other photographs, including those represented in A9, B1, B8, B9, C1, and G8.) Perhaps the safest attitude to adopt is that recommended by the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (cf., Hall, 1964, p. 86); namely,


  that the evidential value at least of still photographs depends entirely upon the surrounding circumstances. An isolated photograph about which little is known, no matter how impressive it may appear in itself, is essentially worthless — except, possibly, in cases in which sophisticated photogrammetric analysis yields further detail tending to confirm the verbal account of the photographer. (I have heard that this has happened in at least one case; viz., that of the controversial series of Polaroid photographs — one of which is represented in A8 — taken by a California state highway employee, Rex Heflin, near Santa Ana in August 1965.) The photographs most worthy of further intensive investigation would seem to be those for which there also were reported to be many eyewitnesses as well as other, corroborating photographs — as in the celebrated case of the “saturn-shaped” object (A1) that was said to have been photographed from an oceanographic vessel near the Brazilian island of Trindad in January 1958 (see Lorenzen, 1966, pp. 145-153, 164-174). The assessment of the representativeness of a set of recognition test-materials, Even though an extensive effort is made to represent every sort of shape that has been reliably described, sketched, or photographed, the possibility will remain that the collection of proposed test materials will not be sufficiently representative. Certain types of completely fraudulent shapes may unnecessarily inflate the already unwieldy collection and, more seriously, some significant types may still be missing. There are, however, ways of assessing the representativeness of any proposed collection of shapes. One is, simply, to have people describe these shapes and then to look for any pronounced departures of the relative frequencies of the various descriptive terms used from the corresponding relative frequencies in reports issuing from actual sightings of UFOs. My research assistant, Miss Shelley Meltzer, carried out an exploratory attempt at this sort of thing that may help to illustrate some of the relevant considerations. From our total sample of photographs, 75 that seemed suitably representative were selected for this preliminary study. These included most of the 63 already portrayed in the accompanying figure, but those that were known or strongly suspected to be fraudulent were eliminated and a number of others of less sharply defined shape were added (since many reports indicate that the shape was not clearly visible). Each of 19 subjects, mostly students at Harvard University, then looked through one of three subsets of 25 of these photographs and, for each, attempted to describe the pictured object in their own words. (Immediately following that, each subject then looked through another subset of 25 and, this time, indicated the appropriateness for each photograph of each term in a fixed set that we had listed in advance on a standardized rating sheet. However this part of the experiment will not be considered in any detail here.) Of most immediate interest are the descriptive labels spontaneously produced in the 19 x 25 or 475 subject-photograph encounters. These could now be compared with the descriptive labels appearing in a sample of 206 different representative reports of actual UFO sightings that Miss Meltzer had already extracted (for a different purpose) from a number of sources (mostly Edwards, 1966; Hall, 1964; Michel, 1967; Olsen, 1966; Ruppelt, 1956; and Vallee, 1965). The accompanying table lists those descriptive terms that pertain to visual appearance but, for purposes of comparison with the mostly black-and-white photographs, excludes the many references to (chromatic) color. With one exception (#33), only terms that appeared at least twice in the sample of 206 actual reports are included, and these arranged in order of decreasing frequency of occurrence in that sample.


Number of occurrences:

Label description;
visual appearance
(excluding chromatic colors)
in 206 actual UFO cases in 475 photograph descriptions Appreciable discrepancies

1. Disk shaped 27 42
2. Circular 24 24
3. Round 22 25
4. Metallic 19 41
5. Domed top 15 21
6. Starlike (point of Light) 14 6
7. Cigar shaped 13 1 – –
8. Spherical 12 9
9. Bell shaped 11 0
10. Fiery appearance 11 0
11. Trail of vapor or smoke 10 13
12. Portholes or windows 10 0
13. Pattern of lights 9 0
14. White filaments emitted 9 0
15. Oval 6 19 +
16. Flat 6 8
17. Elliptical 5 9
18. Dumbbell shaped 5 0
19. Football shaped 4 1
20. White 4 0
21. Saucer shaped 3 12 +
22. Egg shaped 3 5
23. Diamond shaped 3 0
24. Silvery 3 0
25. Saturn shaped 2 7
26. Top shaped 2 5
27. Conical 2 3
28. Washtub shaped 2 0
29. Two washbowls rim-to-rim 2 0
30. Two plates rim-to-rim 2 0
31. Long tail 2 0
32. Emitting flame 2 0
33. Hat shaped 1 35 + +

  TOTAL 265 251

The two columns of numbers, then, present the resulting frequencies of occurrence (a) in the 206 actual UFO reports and (b) in the 475 opportunities for these same descriptive terms to arise in the experiment with the photographs. Direct numerical comparisons are somewhat hazardous owing to the different circumstances in which the two sets of descriptive terms arose. In terms merely of opportunities, the numbers in the second column should be about twice as large as those in the first. However, the totals for the two columns are nearly equal and, so, the real encounters evidently were relatively more productive of descriptive terms on the average. Numerically small departures or departures in which the second number is somewhere between the size of the first number and twice that size are probably not very significant therefore. The remaining positive and negative discrepancies of appreciable size are indicated by the plus and minus signs in the right-most column. Some of these are probably explainable in terms of the two-dimensional, achromatic, and stationary character of the photographs (e.g., #10 & 13), or in terms of differences in vocabulary to be expected between the unselected witnesses and the college-educated subjects of the experiment (e.g., #9 & 15). Other discrepancies, however, suggest either that some shapes, such as the so-called “cigar” (#7), were not adequately represented in the sample of photographs, or that some shapes, such as those most frequently said to resemble a “hat” (#33), are especially likely to have been of fraudulent origin. (Among the objects included in the above figure that were often said to be hat-like are C3, which we already noted is almost certainly a 1937 Ford hubcap; E4, which doesn’t seem to fit very well with the usual descriptions of UFOs; and G2, which, although it too doesn’t coincide with at least my notion of a “flying saucer,” does however correspond rather closely with several other photographs.)


  The Use of the Computer in the Design of Recognition Test-Materials and in the Analysis of Results Our sample of only 206 actual UFO cases is really too small and haphazard for the purpose of ensuring that all types of reported shapes are adequately represented in any proposed recognition array. Many descriptive terms that have repeatedly been used (such as “doughnut,” “ring,” “mushroom,” flattened ball,” “double-convex lens,” “bullet,” “blimp,” and “submarine”) didn’t happen to appear more than once in our particular sample). Ideally, for this work, one would like access to a centralized library of all reasonably documented cases — suitably coded for retrieval via computer. Indeed, at present the scientific study of the UFO problem is greatly hampered by the circumstance that the thousands of reported sightings have not been adequately coded or systematized in any uniform way and are, in fact, still scattered among such diverse and often mutually hostile organizations as the U.S. Air Force, NICAP, APRO, and the University of Colorado Project — not to mention a number of more-or-less private files assembled by individual investigators both here and abroad. Recent developments in computer technology — particularly in computer graphics — could be utilized, also, in the construction of arrays of shapes for a recognition test. Thus for any specified shape, the computer (together with suitable graphical output equipment) could automatically generate alternative pictures of the same object as viewed from any desired angle (e.g., Noll, 1965; Zajac, 1964); and could even generate other test shapes intermediate between that shape and some other specified shape. (In fact, as on-line graphical facilities become more widely available, even a relatively unartistic witness, seated in front of a suitable display device, should be able to reconstruct his own object by techniques of these general sorts.) For the present, however, perhaps the most promising use of the computer in this connection would be in finding an optimum arrangement of the alternative test shapes in the recognition array. This is a matter of real concern owing to the large number of shapes that should be included. (Even the 63 exhibited in the above figure fall far short of covering all the varieties that have been sketched or described.) If the alternatives could somehow be arranged so that similar shapes are close together, then the witness could quickly narrow down to the most relevant region of the array in order to make his final, most refined discriminations. In order to do this we would first need to obtain some measure of the perceived similarity between any two shapes. One could of course obtain a direct, subjective judgment of similarity from experimental subjects. However, it might be more convenient to obtain a derived measure of similarity based upon the frequency with which different subjects will sort the two shapes into the same pile, or upon the overlap in their application of the same descriptive terms to the two shapes in the kind of task described in the preceding section (cf„ Rosenberg, Nelson, & Vivekananthan, in press). Once we have any such measure of similarity for every pair, we can apply powerful new computer-based methods for mapping the objects into a two-dimensional arrangement in such a way that their similarities are preserved, in so far as possible, in the spatial proximities among them (Kruskal, 1964 Shepard, 1962; Shepard & Carroll, 1966). Moreover, these same methods could yield a quantitative metric of similarity that would then enable us to specify just how similar an object identified by one witness is to the object identified by another witness. Indeed, they could even tell us something about the basic dimensions along which UFO phenomena differ or, with the help of recently perfected methods for “hierarchical clustering” (Johnson, 1967), they could provide an indication of the basically different classes into which these phenomena undoubtedly fall. Possibly, some of these classes of unidentified aerial phenomena will turn out to be of purely natural origin. I once even ventured to suggest this for certain puzzling types of cases myself (Shepard, 1967b) — though, admittedly, attempts to develop such explanations in terms of known principles of atmospheric physics, generally, have run into competent and serious criticism (McDonald, 1968). Still. even if some of the phenomena are of natural origin, a more complete and accurate characterization of their appearance and behavior should be of some interest to the physical scientist — indeed, all the more so to the extent that they appear to conflict with known physical principles. In any case, it appears that techniques now exist that could provide the basis for a psychologically oriented, but genuinely scientific investigation into unidentified aerial phenomena, whatever their nature may ultimately prove to be.



The development of some of the techniques described here and the preliminary experimental tests of these techniques on UFO materials were carried out as one part of a more general project on psychological scaling and data analysis supported by Grant No. GS-1302 from the National Science Foundation to Harvard University. The author is indebted to the Foundation for its support and, also, to Miss Shelley Meltzer for her extensive assistance in the project


Edwards, F. Flying saucers-serious business. New York: Lyle Stuart, 1966, (Also Bantam paperback S3378). Fuller, J. G. Incident at Exeter. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1966, (Also Berkeley Medallion Paperback, TM 757,375). Fuller, J. G. The interrupted journey. New York: Dial Press, 1967, (Also Dell Paperback 4068). Glucksberg, S., Krauss, R. M., & Weisberg, R. Referential communication in nursery school children: Method and some preliminary findings. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 1966, 3, 333-342. Hall, R. H. (ED.) The UFO evidence. National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, 1530 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C., 1964. Johnson, S. C. Hierarchical clustering schemes. Psychometrika, 1967, 32, 241-254. Krauss, R. M., & Weinheimer, C. Changes in reference phrases as a function of frequency of usage in social interaction: a preliminary study. Psychonomic Science, 1964, 1, 113-114. Krauss, R. M., & Weinheimer, S. Concurrent feedback, confirmation, and the encoding of referents in verbal communication. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1966, 4, 343-346. Kruskal, J. B. Multidimensional scaling by optimizing goodness of fit to a nonmetric hypothesis. Psychometrika, 1964, 29, 1-27. Lorenzen, C. B. Flying saucers: the startling evidence of the invasion from outer space. New York: Signet, 1966, (Signet Paperback T3058). McDonald,J. E. UFOs — atmospheric or extraterrestrial? Talk presented to the Chicago Chapter of the American Meteorological Society, May 31, 1968. (See, also, his contribution to this volume.) Michel, A. The truth about flying saucers. New York: S. G. Phillips, 1956. (Also Pyramid Paperback T-1647) Michel, A. Flying saucers and the straight-line mystery. New York: Criterion Books, 1958. Noll, A. M. Stereographic projections by digital computer. Computers and Automation, 1965, 14, No. 5. Olsen, T. M. (Ed.) The reference for outstanding UFO sighting reports. UFOIRC, Inc., Dept SM 518, P.O. Box 57, Riderwood, Maryland, 21139, 1966. Reiff, R., and Scheerer, M. Memory and hypnotic age regression. New York: International Univ. Press, 1959. Rosenberg, S., Nelson, C., and Vivekananthan, P. W. A multidimensional approach to the structure of personality impressions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1968 (in press). Rosenthal, R. Experimenter effects in behavioral research. New York: Meredith Publishing Co., 1966. Ruppelt, E.J. The report on unidentified flying objects. New York: Doubleday, 1956. (Also Ace Books paperback G-537) Schumach, M. Palette-packing cop. New York Times Magazine, August 24, 1958. Shepard, R. N. The analysis of proximities: Multidimensional scaling with an unknown distance function. I. Psychometrika, 1962, 27, 125-140. II. Psychometrika, 1962, 27, 219-246. Shepard, R. N. Recognition memory for words, sentences and pictures. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 1967, 6, 156-163. (a) Shepard, R. N. Tornadoes: Puzzling phenomena and photographs. (Letter to Editor). Science, 1967, 155, 27-28. (b)


  Shepard, R. N., and Carroll, J. D. Parametric representation of nonlinear data structures. In P. R. Krishnaiah (Ed.), Multivariate analysis: Proceedings of an international symposium. New York: Academic Press, 1966. pp. 561-592. Vallee, J. Anatomy of a phenomenon. New York: Ace Books, 1965 (Paperback). Vallee, J., and Vallee, J. Challenge to science: The UFO enigma. Chicago: Regnery, 1966. Von Foerster, H. (Ed.) Cybernetics: Transactions of the eighth conference. New York: Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation, 1952. Weitzel, W. … Into the middle of hell. Flying saucers: UFO reports #3. New York: Dell Publishing Co., 1967. pp. 38-49. Zajac, E. E. Programmed pictorial displays. Proceedings of the 1964 symposium on digital computing. Bell Telephone Laboratories, 1964. pp. 33-44.


1. Biography 2. Prepared Statement (The biography of Dr. Salisbury follows:)


Born: Provo, Utah, August 3, 1926. Married 1949; six children. B.S. University of Utah 1951; M.A. Utah 1962; Ph.D. California Institute of Technology 1955.* Army Air Force 1945. Field is plant physiology. Assistant Professor of Botany, Pomona College 1954-5. Assistant Professor of Botany, Colorado State 1955-61. Full Professor, Colorado State 1961-66. Professor and Head, Dept of Plant Science, Utah State University 1966-. Member: AAAS; Society of Plant Physiology; Ecological Society; Astronautical Society. Interests: Physiology of flowering; space biology; physiological ecology.   The following reprint from Bio-Science, volume 17, No. 1, 1967, pages 15-24, was submitted by Dr. Frank B. Salisbury, head, plant science department, Utah State University, as summarizing his views on UFOs.



Frank B. Salibury Utah State University


  0. Introduction

I. Extraterrestrial Spaceships or Other Machines

II. Conventional Phenomena Misinterpreted

III. Psychological Phenomena

IV. Hoaxes or Lies

V. Secret Weapons

Representative Sightings:

Arnold, 1947

Chesapeake, 1952

Trindade, 1958

St. George, 1965

Socorro, 1964

New Guinea, 1959

Exeter, 1965


A phenomenon is abroad in the land. Since shortly after the beginning of recorded history, but particularly during the past two decades, many people have reported visual observations of phenomena which they interpret as objects so intricate in their structure and proficient in their maneuvers that they far surpass the current human technology. The apparent objects are usually in the sky, but in a few cases they are on the ground or landing or taking off from the ground. Although they may not be flying and they may not be objects, they are called unidentified flying objects: UFO’s for short.

What is the significance of these strange, typically aerial phenomena? There are many extremely important implications in the area of psychology. Perhaps the most obvious is the possibility that the UFO’s may be purely psychological phenomena such as hallucinations. Of much greater importance, however, could be the psychological questions of interpretation. These are valid regardless of what elicits the response in the witness — a real spaceship from Mars or a spotlight shining on a gossamer cloud.

The number of witnesses to these phenomena has increasedtremendously in recent years (probably a sizable fraction of 1% of the world’s population has been involved in “good” sightings), therefore the phenomenon is of obvious sociological importance. It could influence the relationships between nations or programs of space exploration. It might even, given the proper circumstances, develop into a panic of severe proportions. There is ample justification from the sociological standpoint for a detailed study of the UFO phenomenon.

My interest developed from the field of exobiology. If the UFO’s are extraterrestrial spaceships guided by intelligent beings (as many of their witnesses insist), then they are of the most pressing interest to the exobiologist. Current speculation about life on Mars (Jackson and Moore, 1965; Salisbury, 1962, 1966) would be naive indeed if such were the case. Although they would have virtually no significance to exobiology if they are not extraterrestrial, the possibility that they might be seems great enough to merit at least a preliminary investigation.

We might well consider the UFO’s from the standpoint of the philosophy of scientific method. Even if the scientific community at large were sincerely interested in the study of the phenomena, it would encounter many difficulties in knowing what approach to take. UFO sightings are events which usually cannot be repeated. The astronomer may also witness such events, e.g., the flares on Mars (Salisbury, 1962; Ley, Willy and Werner Von Braun, 1960), but at least he is a trained observer, and none of his colleagues are likely to doubt his word. In the case of the UFO’s, although many observers may be highly trained in certain aspects of contemporary modern life, few, if any, could claim much competence as carefully schooled UFO observers! Frequently, they are not trained to differentiate between observation and interpretation, and often there is a strong tendency for all but close friends to doubt their word. Here, then, is a phenomenon of nature which could, and should, be of extreme interest to the scientist. But it is a difficult one for even him to study. How do we study events which cannot be repeated and which are recorded only through the minds of observers who can scarcely resist the temptation to enlarge their stories and to intermingle the facts with their own interpretations and psychological responses?

*An artist’s conception of the Boiani New Guinea, June 26-27, 1959, sighting. Object is drawn from sketches made by the witnesses at the time. Note the other two objects hovering at a greater distance. Supplied by the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization.


  About all we can do at present is to evaluate the reports, although sufficient desire might make more than this possible (in the Exeter sighting described below, observers could have actually waited, fully equipped with high-speed cameras and other devices, for the return of the objects). Professor J. Alien Hynek (1966), the Director of the Observatory at Northwestern University, and for the past 18 years consultant to the Air Force in their study of UFO sightings, has often stated that to make progress we must accept the fact that the UFO’s do exist — as reports. The Air Force and several private groups have accumulated bulging files of these reports, containing everything from detailed interviews to the remnants of pancakes submitted by a witness who claimed he had received them from a space man! These reports and the many which will be obtained in the future (using hopefully better means of information gathering) are the data with which we must work, and the only data so far available. What can we do with them?

One obvious approach is to propose as many possible interpretations as can be devised and then to evaluate the data in terms of these hypotheses. The process will be a circular one, in which hypotheses are formulated on the basis of the data, and the data are then re-examined in terms of the hypotheses. In the following paragraphs, five hypotheses are discussed and then a few representative sightings are considered. The subject has been reviewed by several authors in book form, often competently, but virtually always with some degree of prejudice (for: Hall, 1964; Keyhoe, 1960; Lorenzen, 1962, 1966; Michel, 1958; Vallee, 1965; Vallee and Vallee, 1966 — against: Menzel and Boyd, 1963).

I. Extraterrestrial Spaceships or Other Machines

Although earlier observers usually interpreted the UFO’s in terms of miraculous religious events, most UFO observers during the past 19 years have suggested that the objects which they observed were extraterrestrial spaceships. Can we eliminate the spaceship hypothesis in any rigorous scientific manner? Logically one might think of two approaches: either we must show in each and every instance ever reported that the object was not an extraterrestrial spaceship, or we must show by some sort of scientific logic that it is impossible for extraterrestrial beings to visit us. Obviously, we cannot show in every case that a purported UFO was not an extraterrestrial spaceship. The data may not be available, and the events cannot be repeated. Furthermore, in several instances, very detailed data do exist in relation to a sighting, and yet it cannot be rigorously stated that the UFO was not an extraterrestrial machine. Nevertheless, this approach has been followed in an attempt to eliminate this hypothesis, notably by Professor Donald Menzel, Director of the Harvard Observatory (Menzel and Boyd, 1963) and by the United States Air Force. Menzel is aware of the logical limitations, but he takes a statistical approach. He reasons that since many sightings can be positively eliminated as extraterrestrial spaceships, those which cannot could be if only more data were available. This is an excellent example of the inductive form of reasoning which has been so productive in science. Can we confidently apply it in relation to the UFO phenomena? To do so, the cases for which ample data exist and which prove not to be spaceships must be representative of the class as a whole. To many of us this seems unlikely, since other cases fortified with considerable data cannot be eliminated as extraterrestrial machines, and in many ways they appear to have little in common with the cases which can. On purely formal grounds, then, we cannot be absolutely convinced by Menzel’s approach. It is also logically unreasonable to say with absolute certainty that it is impossible for extraterrestrial beings to visit us. Although we know a great deal about the universe, we do not yet know enough to make such an all-inclusive negative statement. Nevertheless, many of the arguments are highly compelling, and two are especially worthy of our attention. The first argument is that the UFO’s contravene the laws of nature, or more properly, that they are contrary to our experience. It is first assumed that they could not originate within our solar system because only the earth harbors intelligent life, and then it is reasoned that because of the extreme distances between stars they could not be visitors from some other planetary system. My initial contact with the UFO problem came because of my doubts in relation to the first assumption (Salisbury, 1962; 1964; 1966). Certainly we have no conclusive or even compelling evidence that Mars might support an intelligent civilization. We do, however, have a number of observations which seem to be in agreement with this assumption. The network of lines referred to as the canals still defies explanation in terms of nonintelligent phenomena, although such an explanation may well be apparent when we obtain more data about Mars. The satellites of Mars, with their almost perfectly circular, equatorial orbits and their small size have certain of the characteristics of artificial satellites. Brilliant flares of light occasionally seen on the surface of Mars are too short in duration and too bluish-white in spectral quality to be similar to our volcanoes, yet they are too long in duration to be readily explainable as meteorite impacts. An occasional associated white cloud would seem to eliminate them as reflections. It is even possible, if one is willing to stretch the imagination a bit, to find evidences [sic] for intelligence in the Mariner photographs of Mars. These ideas have recently been discussed in considerably more detail elsewhere (Salisbury, 1966). There was an interesting correlation from 1948 to 1957 in the number of UFO sightings per unit time and the closeness to the planet Mars (Fig. 1). This was shown by Vallee and Vallee (1962; 1966) to be expected on statistical grounds less than one time in a thousand. Both Venus and Jupiter are far more prominent in the skies than Mars (both have often been misinterpreted as UFO’s), and yet no such correlation exists with their apparent brightness in the skies and the number of UFO sightings. Assuming that there is no intelligence on Mars and that the UFO’s would have to cross interstellar space, can we really state with confidence that this is an impossibility? Do we know so much? Of course we do not. We are even searching for possible solutions to the problem of interstellar travel. Perhaps the roost compelling “impossibility” argument is the reported



Fig. 1. UFO sightings and the oppositions of Mars.

physical activity of certain UFO’s (Menzel and Boyd, 1963). In several “good” sightings (those which, for reasons discussed below, do not readily fit any of the remaining four hypotheses), UFO’s have appeared to accelerate at tremendous rates or even make right-angle turns while traveling at speeds of several hundred or thousand miles per hour. Although they move in the atmosphere at velocities which surely exceed that of sound, no sonic booms are heard (they are often essentially silent) nor do they appear to burn up with frictional heat. The skeptic says: “Granted that we have a lot left to learn about our universe, we surely don’t expect the fundamental laws to be rejected. That we may refine them as Einstein did, it is true, but inertia is inertia, and a right-angle turn at several thousand miles per hour is a simple physical impossibility.” This may be the most compelling argument against the spaceship hypothesis, but there are two counter-arguments. First, one can simply reject the above statement. I do not see how Newton’s laws could be so flagrantly violated, but others (Lorenzen, 1962; Michel, 1958; Vallee and Vallee, 1966) have come up with various suggestions. Perhaps inertia is the gravitational interaction between an object and all other objects in the universe. If this gravitational attraction could some way be severed (some mysterious antigravity shield surrounding the spacecraft for example!), then right-angle turns at high speeds might be feasible. Would the surrounding antigravity field also nullify the sound barrier problem? Some think so. I haven’t the faintest idea, but we could be wrong about what is impossible. Second, one might remember that not all UFO’s perform “impossible” feats. The topic is sufficiently interesting if only one UFO proves to be a spaceship from Mars! Another argument against the spaceship idea concerns the lack of formal contact with the UFO occupants. Since visiting spaceships ought to be piloted by some sort of intelligent beings, wouldn’t it be reasonable to expect that they would desire contact with other intelligent beings, namely us? Or why hasn’t a flying saucer landed on the United Nations Building to establish formal diplomatic relations? This argument assumes that we can understand the motives of an extraterrestrial being. Of course we cannot. How could we know the minds of such beings? To inductively extrapolate from our own current sociological approaches to those of other intelligent. entities would be to commit the logical sin of extrapolation in a most flagrant manner. It is easy to imagine several reasons why the extraterrestrials might not want to contact us. Did they plant us here as a colony many thousands of years ago and are carefully observing our evolutionary development? Do they envy us for our natural resources and want to conquer us, although present logistic problems make such an effort impossible? Are they waiting for us to straighten out our wars and race problems? Are they simply uninterested in us as contemporaries, preferring to observe us as specimens? Entomologists study the honeybees very carefully but make no diplomatic contact with the queen! Imagine the Aborigines of Central Australia, who are still in the stone age and who have not even developed the bow and arrow. They have had no contact at all with modern civilization. What happens when a jet plane flies overhead and one of them observes it? When he tells of the huge, shiny bird that didn’t flap its wings, had no feet, made an ear-splitting roar, and even had smoke coming out of its tail, surely his fellows assume that he is crazy. Or if the phenomenon becomes so common that it must be accepted as real, they could hardly be expected to deduce from it the conditions of our modern civilization, let alone our motives. “Why,” they might ask; don’t the intelligent beings who guide this mighty bird land and trade bone nosepieces with us?” Actually, many of the Aborigines, even those who have come in contact with civilized men, still interpret the airplane in a religious context, as witness the establishment of the cargo cults among these peoples (Worsley, 1959). We cannot, then, eliminate the spaceship hypothesis, although some of the arguments against it are quite impressive. We should, in deference to the scientific method, examine with a completely open mind any evidence which might be marshalled in favor of the hypothesis. Let us consider the four alternatives to it

II. Conventional Phenomena Misinterpreted

Given certain special circumstances, nearly anyone can be confused and amazed by the appearance of some conventional object which under other circumstances might cause no bewilderment whatsoever. What psychological factors lead to such misinterpretations? In various instances, reported UFO’s have clearly been demonstrated to be balloons, kites, birds, conventional aircraft, artificial satellites, planets and stars, meteors, clouds, natural electrical effects such as ball lightning (Klass 1966), and optical effects such as reflections, mirages, sundogs, and refractions caused by inversion layers in the atmosphere (see Menzel and Boyd, 1963, and Air Force files). Let us consider the level of certainty in classifying a given sighting here. Often, the sighting may be placed here with absolute certainty. A balloon reported as a UFO was never out of sight of its launchers. A perplexing light in the sky takes form as an airplane as it gets closer.


  My children woke me at 6:00 a.m. in Tubingen, Germany, saying that they were watching a hovering UFO over the city. I grabbed my binoculars and watched the brilliant light move rather rapidly both toward us and away from us and even from side to side. After about a minute, I decided to make my observations more precise, backed up against a doorway, and aligned the object with a spot on the window frame. Upon doing this, it stopped moving, and we were soon able to identify it as Venus, then the morning star. Its lateral motions were apparently illusions due to our own movements, and its rapid approach and retreat were due to a thin, rapidly moving layer of mists which caused it to change intensity. Within the last year I have positively identified UFO’s over Fort Collins, Colorado (pointed out to me usually by phone) as a weather kite, the planet Venus, and the stars Vega, Capella, Betelguese, and Sirius. Some of the stars close to the horizon flashed red, green, and white, and only a star chart and much discussion could convince the viewer that he was not observing a spaceship. In many other cases, data are not quite complete enough to be positive, but one can state with a high degree of certainty that a given UFO was quite likely such and such a conventional object or phenomenon. In the most interesting cases, the sighting seems absolutely to defy explanation in these terms. One important conclusion becomes apparent: There is a very high noise level in UFO observations. This is exactly what one might expect. People do become excited by news stories and thereby predisposed to such experiences themselves. We cannot, however, from this high noise level write off the entire phenomenon as belonging to this category of conventional objects misinterpreted. Sagan (1963) attempted to do this by pointing out the great diversity which occurs within the sightings. This might well be only the noise. Even if spaceships are visiting us, many people are still seeing conventional objects and interpreting them as spaceships. The sightings which do not fit well into the conventional-objects-misinterpreted category have certain characteristics concerned primarily with the detail which is observed and with the nature and reliability of the witnesses. Sometimes other evidence is also available. If only a moving light is seen at a great distance, one can hardly be tempted to run out and meet our big brothers from Mars. Even a disc or a globe with fairly sharp-appearing edges might well be an optical effect of some sort. A report is more impressive when the object is seen at close hand, especially landed on the ground. A very distinct shape with highly distinct edges and a solid, often metallic-appearing surface is described. Windows or other markings may be apparent. Lights are frequently an associated part of the observation, and sometimes (both day and night) the brilliance was said to be so high that the observer found it difficult to continue looking at the UFO. Occasionally, one part of the UFO is described as being in motion relative to other parts, (The rim of a disc may be rotating around the disc.) “Occupants,” both humanoid and otherwise, have been reported in conjunction with UFO’s, landed and flying. The quality of a sighting is always enhanced when the time of observation is long enough for the observer to consciously consider what he is observing while he is observing it. A light that moves by in less than 5 seconds can hardly produce a very impressive account. In some cases UFO’s have been observed for 1 or 2 hours or even longer. We are primarily concerned with witnesses. Their background and training are especially important, and it is valuable when a single sighting is described by more than one witness. The likelihood of hoax is decreased if the witnesses were unknown to each other before the sighting. In some cases an account may be supported by various forms of supplementary evidence. There are many cases in which photographs have been taken while a UFO was witnessed by several apparently competent observers. Holes have been left in the ground where a UFO had supposedly landed or vegetation has been damaged or on fire. Occasionally (rarely), radioactivity has been detected. In one case a fence was magnetized where a UFO had passed over it. Many strange samples have been left, such as Liquid residues, “angel’s hair,” and other materials. In no case, of course, are these things by themselves conclusive, since virtually any sort of evidence could be fraudulently produced. We remain dependent upon the reliability of the witnesses, but sometimes these secondary evidences can contribute to an evaluation of the sighting. Many radar sightings of UFO’s are on file. In a few cases, a UFO has been simultaneously observed by radar and by witnesses, both on the ground and in an aircraft. Menzel and Boyd (1963) have clearly pointed out, however, that radar evidence is far from positive proof. There are many natural atmospheric and other phenomena as well as imperfections in radar instruments which can produce so-called radar angels. We must consider the argument from both sides, however. Just because radar angels are not necessarily UFO’s, we are still not entitled to conclude that any unusual blip on the screen is a radar angel. We should certainly not conclude that UFO’s cannot be extraterrestrial spaceships, because if they were, our radar net would pick them up. The fact of the matter is, our radar net does pick up many returns which are not identifiable in terms of known aircraft (e.g., apparent objects moving several thousand miles per hour through the atmosphere). Many of these are undoubtedly radar angels in the true sense of the word, but we can’t say that some are not spaceships from Mars! A secondary form of supporting evidence is that of pattern. While Sagan (1963) fails to see any pattern because of the noise, other investigators feel that many patterns can be established from the reports. Figure 1 (UFO’s and Mars oppositions) is an example of such a pattern. Various other patterns have also appeared. Michel studied the sightings in France in 1954 and found that occasionally (Fig. 2) they appeared to fall upon great circle arcs of the earth’s surface (Michel, 1958). It is extremely difficult (Menzel, 1964; Vallee, 1964) to evaluate the significance of such a pattern. In many cases, the lines could be due purely to chance. In the example illustrated, however, with six points upon a single line, one can’t help but be somewhat impressed. If all of these criteria are met for a given UFO report, then it is highly




Fig. 2. French Straight-Line Sightings

likely that we are not dealing with a conventional object misinterpreted. The detail usually precludes this. In such a case, the UFO could be an extraterrestrial spaceship or it could fit into one of the categories discussed below.

III. Psychological Phenomena

Can the UFO’s be pure figments of the mind — hallucinations, dreams, and the like? Probably there are cases for which this is the proper explanation, but it is a difficult one to apply to situations in which many witnesses describe with reasonable uniformity a single UFO. In such cases, the psychological explanation would have to fall back on areas such as extrasensory perception, which are really not much more respectable in modern science than spaceships from Mars. In cases in which radar observes the object at the same time that it is observed visually and/or it is photographed, we would have to postulate that one mind can project an object into the heavens in such a way that instruments such as radar and the camera detect it. This would be as exciting as spaceships! Certainly we do not know all there is to know about the operation of the human mind, so this hypothesis cannot be completely eliminated. And even if the UFO’s arc spaceships, psychological factors play an important part in the phenomenon. Nevertheless, this hypothesis is not really satisfying. Probably the most detailed study of the UFO’s by a psychologist was carried out by Jung (1959). He was able to document a great many extremely fascinating psychological Implications of the UFO. In his final conclusion, however, he could only state that psychological explanations were not sufficient for the phenomenon as a whole.

IV. Hoaxes or Lies

An obvious and straightforward explanation of the UFO’s is that the witnesses are lying or that the object is a hoax. Yet the Air Force, always acutely aware of this possibility, explained only a very small percentage of the cases which they investigated in this way. Often it is very difficult to imagine that a hoax is involved. The witnesses give all of the outward signs of being extremely sincere: often they are emotionally upset by their recent experience. Frequently, their background and general competence seem to argue strongly against the idea of hoax. Furthermore, in sightings in which hundreds and even thousands of witnesses are involved (and a few such sightings are on record), one must reject the idea that all the witnesses were lying. If a hoax were involved, it would have to be the object itself. Before completely eliminating this explanation, we must remember that a hoax can be amazingly effective. I saw the great Blackstone on a stage apparently pass a rapidly moving handsaw blade directly through the neck of an assistant in a trance. A block of wood below the neck was sawed in half amidst much noise and flying sawdust Yet this was admittedly a hoax. Would it be possible to some way cause an illusion in the sky which could completely fool hundreds of witnesses? I cannot absolutely say that it would not. On the other hand, in many cases, producing such an illusion would appear to be almost as great a feat as building a flying saucer itself. One aspect of the UFO story does seem to be deeply involved in hoax. This is the so-called contactee cult. Many people now located over much of the world claim to have had direct contact with the flying-saucer people. (Adamski and Leslie, 1958; UFO International). Perhaps the contactee is informed by mental telepathy that he should report promptly to a certain lonely spot in the desert. Upon obeying, he is met by a flying saucer whose occupants are, as a rule, beautifully humanoid and who. frequently take him into their confidence by allowing him to photograph themselves and their craft, inviting him in for a look at the control panels, and perhaps taking him for a quick spin, sometimes to Mars or Venus but best of all to the mysterious planet on the other side of the sun, unobservable from mother earth. Everything about these stories seems to cry hoax. The proof is typically a series of photographs (which could easily be fraudulent) and copious quantities of pseudoscience. Someone who had really contacted visitors from another world should surely be able to do better than that. Why should visitors from another world bother with such obscure representatives of the human race, anyway? Their message is always that man must cease his wars or be destroyed, but why should such an important message be given to someone who is bound to be considered a liar when he delivers it? It is interesting to consider the possibility that the contactees are genuine. When considering the UFO phenomenon, all sorts of wild alternatives come to mind. If the extraterrestrials wanted to be ignored by the scientific community on earth, they could hardly choose a better and more effective way than the delivering of profound messages to the souls who presently claim contact!


V. Secret Weapons

It is possible that secret devices being tested by earthly governments are misinterpreted as extraterrestrial machines. That this explanation might account for the phenomenon as a whole is, however, quite unreasonable. To begin with, the performances of the UFO’s makes our present rockets appear puny indeed. Could any modern government suppress such a capability for nearly 20 years (since 1947)? Most convincing is the fact that the UFO phenomenon goes way back into history. UFO enthusiasts, for example, often cite the first two chapters of the Book of Ezekiel in the Old Testament as an excellent example of a flying saucer sighting, (Menzel and Boyd, 1963, indicate that it was probably a sundog, but this is a far-fetched explanation for the details reported by Ezekiel.) Vallee (1965) documents the sightings previous to 1947. He states that he has on file more than 300 UFO sightings prior to the 20th century, although he apologizes because he has never had the time to make a thorough search. He considers his cases to be only a small sample of those which might be available. They were carefully chosen for their high quality, roughly conforming to the criteria of good sightings described above. Some 60 of these 300 accounts occurred previous to 1800, and the remainder were recorded during the 19th century. The great majority of these more recent accounts were recorded in the scientific literature, particularly that of astronomy (often in the annals of the various astronomical observatories). It is important to emphasize that these are accounts which are not readily explainable as natural phenomena. Classic, for example, are the observations in Nuremberg (April 14,1561) and in Basale (August 7, 1566) which have been analyzed in some detail by Jung (1959). Both of these sightings involved large inclined tubes in the sky from which spheres originated, an event occurring sometimes in more recent times (Vallee, 1965, cites 13 examples between 1959 and 1964). Spheres and discs appeared to fight each other in aerial dances. The inhabitants of these two relatively large cities observed this strange phenomenon for a long interval of time on the dates given. A great attempt was made to consider the scientific accounts of the 19th century in terms of the natural universe. They were referred to as interesting cases of ball lightning or bolide meteors. Nevertheless, the descriptions are of discs and wheels and the like, and the behavior follows very closely that of the modern UFO. These “meteors” would move slowly, appear to hover, change directions, accelerate at great speeds, have an apparent diameter two or three times that of the full moon, etc. In one instance, called ball lightning, an object slowly emerged from the ocean, moved against the wind, hovered close to the ship from which it was observed, and then rushed away in the sky and disappeared in the southeast (for details, see Vallee’s book, 1965). Sightings during the early part of this century were relatively few. The so-called Miracle of Fatima (Vallee, 1965; Walsh, 1947), which took place on October 13, 1917, in a field at Fatima, a small village some 62 miles north of Lisbon, Portugal, is a fascinating tale, to say the least. Today it would be considered a contactee story, since three children were supposedly contacted at monthly intervals (always on the 13th of the month), beginning in May, by a beautiful, “transparent” woman dressed in white, who arrived in a globe of light. Following the first visit, other witnesses besides the children observed strange events (a buzzing noise, etc.), but only the children saw the “vision.” At the time of the miracle itself, some 70,000 people were gathered in the field by Fatima to wait for the promised sign. It had been raining when suddenly the “sun” appeared through the dense cloud cover. It was a strange sun, however, looking like a flattened disc with a very definite contour, not appearing as a dazzling object, but rather having a clear, changing brightness which one could compare to a pearl. The disc began turning, rotating with increasing speed as the crowd began to cry with anguish. It then began falling toward the earth “reddish and bloody, threatening to crush everybody under its fiery wake.” After an interval of dancing before the crowd, it retreated back through the clouds and disappeared forever. It would be difficult to imagine a sighting which fits the above criteria better than this one. It is also difficult to imagine that the Fatima “sun” was a secret weapon being developed by Russia or the United States!

Some Representative Sightings

Since the study of the UFO’s must be based on the reports, let us consider a few sightings exemplifying various points.

1. The Arnold Sighting, Mt. Rainier, Washington, June 24, 1947. Although Vallee (1965) calls our attention to a fascinating wave of sightings in Scandinavia during the summer of 1946, it did not occur to anyone at that time to consider these as extraterrestrial spaceships, but only as secret rockets being developed by Russia or the United States. The current sightings date back to that of Kenneth Arnold. Other better sightings exist for the same period, and even for several days before (as early as April), but Arnold turned his story over to the newspapers, the term “flying saucer” was coined, and the world’s attention was focused on the phenomenon. Arnold saw a formation of silvery discs flying from one peak or ridge to another around Mount Rainier in the state of Washington. By timing the elapsed period from one landmark to another, he was able to estimate their speed at not less than 1,200 miles per hour. Menzel and Boyd (1963) “explain” Arnold’s sighting as a mirage brought about by inversion layers in the atmosphere which made the peaks appear to be separated from the mountains below them. Presumably, their apparent motion would be due to the motion of Arnold’s airplane. A second explanation proposed by these authors is that Arnold saw the lens-shaped clouds which sometimes occur in the area. They present pictures of such clouds (which look exactly like lens-shaped clouds and not at all like the objects described by Arnold). They further cast aspersions upon Arnold’s reliability as a witness by describing in some detail his subsequent actions in attempts to get publicity, etc. Arnold is supported in his story, however, by the fact that it fits perfectly into the pattern of sightings during that period. Various authors (Hall, 1964; Lorenzen, 1962) have summarized these events, and among than a recurring theme is that of formations


  of silvery discs. Such sightings are rare, or essentially absent, from the reports of more recent years. It is interesting to wonder about how many apparitions of this type were observed and not reported. My wife’s uncle, Mr. Earl Page, then a resident of Kennewick, Washington, had observed on July 12, 1947, a formation of six or eight silvery discs pass by his small airplane at fantastic speed. Mrs. Page and their son were present and saw the objects, which “fluttered as a group for a second or two, and then stabilized … alternating between these two modes.” The Pages were flying north over Utah Lake. Mr. Page told his story to a few friends who laughed at him, and from then on be mentioned it to no one. Any one of the sittings of formations of saucer-like objects during the summer of 1947 could perhaps be dismissed from the mind. A large number of independent sightings, however, produces a pattern which is quite impressive.

2. The Chesapeake Bay Case, July 14, 1952.

This is one of the best documented sightings on record, involving extremely high speeds and a sharp change of direction (Fig. 3). First Officer William B. Nash and 2nd Officer William H. Fortenberry were flying a commercial plane from New York to Miami, approaching Newport News, Virginia. At 8:12 (just after dark) a brilliant red glow suddenly appeared in the west It was soon resolved as six coin-shaped objects flying in line formation. They glowed with a brilliant orange-red color on top, were estimated to be 100 feet in diameter and 15 feet thick. They moved rapidly toward the plane, at one point breaking slightly in their perfect formation as the second and third objects wavered slightly and almost overran the leader. They turned in unison on edge and reversed position in the formation, the last object moving up to the front position with the others following. They then abruptly reversed direction, moving off somewhat to the right with the original leader again in the lead position. The turn was executed almost like balls bouncing off a wall with no wavering or arc apparent. Two other objects raced out from beneath the plane and took up positions seven and eight in the formation. They decreased in brilliance just before making the


Fig. 3. Reported Actions of Chesapeake Bay Discs

turn; objects seven and eight were by far the brightest as they approached the formation; and for a brief interval or two all eight blinked out and then came back on again. They sped off, climbing to an altitude above that of the airplane, and then one by one but at random their lights blinked off and the sighting was finished. In repeating mentally their observation, the pilots estimated that it had lasted only about 12 to 15 seconds. Menzel and Boyd (1963), after considering many possible explanations for the sighting, concluded that the pilots must have seen the illuminated discs produced by a red searchlight shining through nearly transparent thin layers of haze. Charles Maney (1965) corresponded with Menzel for several months, considering all of the possible explanations that might come to mind. Apparently Menzel would have readily accepted several explanations if Maney had not one by one clearly demonstrated their implausibility. The pilots themselves thoroughly rejected Menzel’s searchlight hypothesis, saying that they were familiar with such phenomena, and this was simply not what they observed. The details described above are certainly difficult to reconcile with a searchlight hypothesis. The extremely short duration of the sighting, however, makes one question the absolute accuracy of the account. Did some points develop a bit with discussion and remembering? Furthermore, the velocities of the UFO’s calculated at Between 6,000 and 12,000 mph through a dense atmosphere at 2,000 feet and including an instantaneous reversal in direction, are, to say the least, extremely difficult to fit into our present concepts of the universe. Light images could perform these maneuvers, but how could they perform some of the other maneuvers reported by the two pilots? This case is presented as an example of the problems met by a UFO researcher. To solve a sighting such as this to everyone’s satisfaction would require turning the clock back.

3. Trindade Island, January 16, 1958.

Figure 4 shows a photograph taken by a Mr. Almiro Barauna, a professional photographer, from the deck of the Almirante Saldanha, a Brazilian Navy ship. Several UFO’s had been seen in the vicinity of Trindade Island (a Brazilian possession off the coast of Africa) during its reactivation as a naval base in connection with the International Geophysical Year. In the instance reported here, several sailors at opposite ends of the ship spotted the approaching object simultaneously and began to shout the news to everyone else. Soon the approximately 100 sailors on board, including various officers, were watching the object. Mr. Barauna was preparing to take some photographs and had his camera ready.


Fig. 4. Trinidade Island Photo




Fig. 5. Fake UFO Photograph

He shot six frames, of which two failed to show the object. He explained that due to the excitement be was bumped during these two and that they showed only the deck of the ship and the ocean. A darkroom was improvised below deck, the film was developed, and the minute object on it was identified by the sailors (Lorenzen, 1962). This is an excellent sighting because of the number of witnesses involved and the excellent quality of the pictures (especially the third one, the one shown in the figure). Conventional objects can hardly explain the sighting. Menzel and Boyd (1963) and apparently the United States Air Force consider the sighting to be a hoax. Of the available hypotheses, only this one and that of extraterrestrial machines seem to apply. The hoax explanation must also probably fail if the object was really witnessed by 100 sailors. Menzel and Boyd tell the story differently (their version is based on a report from astronomer friends of Menzel in Rio de Janeiro who did not personally investigate the incident), saying that only Barauna and two or three of his close friends claim to have seen the ob}ect. Yet newspaper reporters interviewed the sailors after the Almirante Saldanha landed several weeks later. I have received several reports on the sighting, including a personal conversation with Dr. Alavio Fontes, a medical doctor in Rio de Janeiro who investigated the case exhaustively. These reports fully support the version that virtually all the sailors witnessed the object. Obviously, our evaluation of the story must hinge upon this aspect The photographs, although extremely convincing, could be fraudulent. To prove this I spent several days in an attempt to duplicate them and succeeded fairly well as indicated in Figure 5. We are still left with the question of the veracity of witnesses.

4. St. George, Minnesota, October 21, 1965.

Driving home from a hunting trip, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Strauch and their son Gary (age 16), and Mr. and Mrs. Donald Grew, all of Gibbon, Minnesota, sighted a hovering object and got out to observe it. Binoculars were used, and Mr. Strauch took one photograph on an 804 Instamatic Kodak camera using Ektachrome X film. The photograph is shown in Figure 6 along with an artist’s conception of the sighting. The object moved toward the witnesses almost directly overhead, making a high-pitched whining sound and traveling at very high speed. It disappeared in the southeast within seconds.


Fig. 6. St. George, Minn Sighting

Much detail was observed, several witnesses were present, ample time was available, a photograph was taken, and hence this instance meets the criteria nicely.

5. Socorro, New Mexico, April 24, 1964.

Patrolman Lonnie Zamora was following a speeder when he saw a blue flame to the southwest. He recognized the area as one which contained a dynamite shack and where teenagers sometimes tried to accelerate their cars up the steep slopes. He decided to investigate. Driving over a mesa (Fig. 7), he caught sight of something which he interpreted as an automobile standing on end with two children or small adults dressed in white clothing and standing by it. He radioed Patrolman Sam Chavez, asking for assistance, and continued down through a gully where he lost sight of the object. Coming up across the next mesa, he parked and got out of his car, moving toward the gully to see the object. It was immediately apparent that he was not observing an automobile wreck. There was a hemispherical object standing on four legs and suddenly an ear-splitting roar. Thoroughly frightened, he turned and ran, collided with the hood of his car, and then threw himself on the ground, noticing again that the object was rising in a slanting trajectory toward the southwest. As it rose, it displayed a blue flame. Upon investigation of the site, four distinct, rather deep impressions were found in the ground where Zamora claims to have seen the landing gear. Two smaller round depressions were in the place where a ladder was placed, leading to a marking on the object which could have been a door. Bushes below where the object had been were burning. Detailed investigations were carried out by the Air Force and by several private flying saucer investigating groups.


Fig. 7. Socorro N.M. Sighting: Terrain

The sighting is a good one in terms of detail and primary evidence. A landing with observed humanoid “occupants” is also of interest. It is bad in only one respect: namely, that Zamora was the sole witness (one or two leads appeared, but other witnesses could never be located), but his apparent sincerity was impressive. Investigators studied the surrounding area for tracks of possible perpetrators of a hoax but could find none, although the ground was soft. The sighting is typical of many similar reports, particularly in France and Brazil, but occasionally also in the United States.


  6. Boiani, New Guinea, June 26, 27, 1959. Sightings were similar on both evenings. On the evening of the 27th, Father W. B. Gill, a teacher and missionary of the Anglican Church in New Guinea, came out of the dining hall at. 6:45 p.m., looked up and saw Venus and then the large sparkling object. While he watched, some 39 others joined him (five were teachers, two were medical assistants, the rest were natives; 28 adult witnesses signed a statement). The object and two others that hovered at a greater distance are shown in the figure (see p. 15) as an artist’s conception (the witnesses had no cameras but made pencil sketches during the observation). As the UFO hovered nearby, Man-shaped forms appeared on the “top Deck” and seemed to be working on something. Occasionally, there was a bright blue, thin beam of light which projected toward the sky. The object itself had an orangeish cast, and the “men” appeared to be dressed in silver suits of some kind. The most seen at one time were four. When one of the figures appeared to glance over the crowd. Gill waved his arm, and the figure returned the gesture. Gill and some of the natives then raised both arms, and two of the figures on the object did the same. The object came lower but did not land. The sighting lasted until 7:20 when the blue spotlight went out and the object moved into a cloud.


New Guinea Sighting

The witnesses, the time, and the detail make this an exceptionally good sighting, one of the best on record. The only available explanation other than the spaceship one would seem to be a complex hoax perpetrated by Gill and all of his associates.

7. Exeter, New Hampshire, September 3, 1965.

A remarkable sighting occurred rather recently in New Hampshire and was studied and documented by several UFO investigators but particularly by Mr. John G. Fuller, a columnist for the Saturday Review. He has assembled his results into book form (Fuller, 1966), and a preliminary account was published in Look Magazine (February 22, 1966). The sightings are remarkable not only because of their nature but in a very real sense because of Mr. Fuller’s investigation. The basic sightings occurred in the early morning hours (about 2:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m.). Patrolman Eugene Bertrand of Exeter had checked on a parked car and found a woman who told him that a huge and silent airborne object had trailed her from the town of Epping 9 miles away. The object had brilliant flashing red lights and kept within a few feet of her car. Developing tremendous speed, it had disappeared among the stars. The patrolman could not believe the story and had not even taken the woman’s name. When Bertrand checked into the police station, Norman Muscarello had just arrived and told his story. He had also seen a large dark object with brilliantly flashing lights hover above a field through which he had been walking on his way home. Patrolman Bertrand accompanied him back to the scene. Although nothing could be seen at first, horses on a nearby farm and dogs in nearby houses began making a great deal of noise, and then Muscarello screamed, “I see it, I see it!” Patrolroan Bertrand turned and observed the brilliant roundish object moving toward them like a leaf fluttering from a tree. Its red lights along the sides were so brilliant that the entire area was bathed in light. It came within about 100 feet of the two witnesses, hovering with a rocking motion, absolutely silent. The lights seemed to be dimming or pulsating from left to right and then from right to left, taking about 2 seconds for each cycle. The lights were so brilliant that it was difficult to make out the shape of the object itself. It darted, turned rapidly, slowed down, and performed other such maneuvers. Patrolman David Hunt had heard the radio conversation between Bertrand and the station in Exeter and drove to the site, witnessing the object for a few minutes before it disappeared, A B-47 flew over shortly after, providing an extreme contrast to the object which they had previously witnessed. In Fuller’s study of the case, he was able to find some 60 different people who had witnessed similar objects over a period of several days or weeks in the fall of 1965. Muscarello was so impressed by his sighting that he and his mother waited on a mountainside nearly every evening for 3 weeks following the event. On one of these evenings, they again witnessed the object. Other people in the area would park by high tension lines (in the Exeter sightings, the objects were frequently associated with power lines) and watch for the objects, occasionally being rewarded with the sight of one. This sighting is not only a good one because of the detail, the number of witnesses, and the several occasions involving comfortable intervals of time, but it adds one other extremely encouraging note. If Muscarello and other New Hampshire residents could go out and watch for the objects, occasionally being able to see them, why couldn’t properly equipped scientific investigators do the same? Except for the Fatima incident, none of the other sightings have had much element of predictability. This may be simply because we have not taken the time or trouble to really look for it. Yet, it is not uncommon to find cases in which an object seen at one time returned on a later occasion (e.g., the New Guinea instance). Serious scientific investigation of the phenomenon might be possible if it were desired by the scientific community. If a project could be set up by a number of scientists, it might be feasible to have everything in readiness for another wave of sightings such as that at Exeter or the subsequent one in the Michigan swamps. When such a wave appeared (and the proper kind of publicity might help in detecting it — although it could also contribute to the generation of a wave of fraudulent sightings), the team of researchers might converge immediately upon the area and carry out some sort of previously planned program of investigation. If the investigators themselves were too


  busy to remain for periods of weeks to months, local people could be hired and trained in the proper techniques, Such a procedure might eventually reward us with the kind of tangible data with which science is used to dealing.


Adamski, George and Leslie Desmond. 1953. Flying Saucers Have Landed. British Book Centre, New York. 232 pp. Fuller, John G. 1966. Incident at Exeter. Putnam & Sons, New York. Hall, Richard H. (ed.). 1964. The UFO Evidence. National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, Washington, D.C. 184 pp. Hynek, J. Allen. 1966. UFO’s merit scientific study. Science, 154: 329. Jackson, F., and P. Moore. 1965. Possibilities of life on Mars. In Current Aspects of Exobiology, G. Mamikunian and M. H. Briggs (eds.). Pergamon Press, Inc., London, New York, Germany. Chapter 5. Jung, C. G. 1959. Flying Saucers. Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd., London. 184 pp. Keyhoe, Donald E. 1960. Flying Saucers Top Secret. Putnam Publishing Co., Longmans. Toronto. 283 PP. Klass, Philip L 1966. Many UFO’s are identified as plasmas. Aviation Week Space Technology, Oct. 3. p. 54. Ley, Willy, and Wernher Von Braun. 1960. The Exploration of Mars. The Viking Press, New York. 176 pp. Lorenzen, Carol E. 1962. The Great Flying Saucer Hoax. The William-Frederick Press, New York. 257 pp. Lorenzen, Carol E. 1966. Flying Saucers. Signet Books, New York. 278 pp. Maney, Charles A. 1965. Donald Menzel and the Newport News UFO. Fate Magazine, pp. 64-75 (April). Menzel, Donald H. 1964. Global orthoteny, new pitfalls. Flying Saucer Review, pp. 3-4 (Sept., Oct.). Menzel, Donald H., and Lyle G. Boyd. 1963. The World of Flying Saucers. Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, N.Y. 302 pp. Michel, Aime. 1958. Flying Saucers and the Straight-Line Mystery. Criterion Books, New York. 285 pp. Sagan, C. 1963. Unidentified flying objects. The Encyclopedia Americana. Salisbury, F. B. 1962. Martian biology. Science, 136: 17-26. Salisbury, F. B. 1964. Das Mars Paradoxon. Naturwissenschaft und Medizin, 1 (5): 36-50. Salisbury, F. B. 1966. Possibilities of Life on Mars. Proceedings of the Conference on the Exploration of Mars and Venus, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, Va., August 1965. VI: 1-16. UFO international. Published periodically by the Amalgamated Flying Saucer Clubs of America, Inc. International Headquarters: 2004 N. Hoover St., Los Angeles, Calif. Vallee, Jacques. 1964. The Menzel-Michel controversy, some further thoughts. Flying Saucer Review, pp. 4-6 (Sept., Oct.). Vallee, J. 1965. Anatomy of a Phenomenon. Henry Regnery Co., Chicago, Ill., 210 pp. Vallee, Jacques, and Janine Vallee. 1962. Mars and the flying saucers. Flying Saucer Review, pp. 5-11 (Sept., Oct.). Vallee, Jacques, and Janine Vallie, 1966. Les Phenomenes Insolites de L’Espace, La Table Ronde, Paris. 321 pp. Walsh, Wm. Thomas. 1947. Our Lady of Fatima. MacMillan Co., New York. 228 pp. Worsley, Peter M. 1959. Cargo cults. Scientific American 200: 117-128.






Baker  p141utah Frame from the Utah Film Showing a Typical Formation of the Objects
Baker  p142utah Blow Up of a Frame from the Utah Film Depicting One of the Pairs of Objects
Baker  p142montana Blow Up of a Frame from the Montana Film Depicting the Two Objects
Baker  p143argentina Microphotograph of One of the Frames of the Argentina Film that Exhibits the Luminosity of the Yellow, Pear-Shaped Anomalistic Object
Walker  p158eyeballs Photograph showing Exterior View of Subject’s Eyes (Example of one of the procedures included in Dr. Walker’s proposed method for assessing eyewitness creditability)
Walker  p159fundus1 Fundus Photo #1 (Another of the procedures from Dr. Walker’s proposed method)
Walker  p159fundus2 Fundus Photo #2 (from Dr. Walker’s proposed method)
Walker  p160perimetry1 Perimetry Diagram, Right Eye (from Dr. Walker’s proposed method)
Walker  p160perimetry2 Perimetry Diagram, Left Eye (from Dr. Walker’s proposed method)
Baker Ratio of time varying value to maximum value of the angular diameters of the images of UFO #1 and UFO #2 (Montana Film)
Baker Motion of unidentified flying objects relative to foreground (Montana Film)
Baker Motion of UFO system in altitude and azimuth (Montana Film)
Baker Separation distance of UFO system as function of time (Montana Film)
Baker Map of Great Falls, Montana and vicinity. (Displaying Analytical Data from Montana Film)
Shepard ARRAY OF UFO SHAPES (From Dr. Shepard’s proposed witness-interview procedure)
Salisbury New Guinea Sighting (Artist’s Conception)
Salisbury UFO Sightings and the Oppositions of Mars
Salisbury “Straight-Line” Sightings: Eight sightings in France, September 24, 1964
Salisbury Reported Actions of Chesapeake Bay Discs
Salisbury Trinidade Island Photo
Salisbury A faked photograph made by the author of two UFO’s over Horsetooth Reservoir in northern Colorado.
Salisbury St. George, Minn. Sighting, October 21, 1965: Photograph and Artist’s Conception
Salisbury Terrain of the Socorro, New Mexico, sighting, April 24, 1964


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