Thursday, June 13, 2013

Society For Scientific Exploration 2013 Annual Meeting, post three.

Yes, folks, we return to this riveting publication of my own talk at the SSE. {Yeh, I know... all of our worst nightmares; but it's something to do while I wait for Roger Nelson's and Larry Dossey's DVDs}.

We were here in our story. Project SIGN had been blasted out of existence and "replaced" by a lone lieutenant, Howard Smith, now "chief" of the newly named Project Grudge. No one believed that the change of names was accidental. The noble Howard McCoy had been replaced by the man who most vocally hated UFOs of anyone in the USAF, Colonel Harold Watson. His future comments would occasionally get so out-of-line that he had to be sanctioned, even by a generally UFO-unfriendly Pentagon. With Watson overtop, Lt. Smith had little incentive to spend much time on Grudge, often just mishandling and losing case files ( Ed Ruppelt later had to go to Pentagon and other base records trying to reconstitute the gaping holes in the 1949-1951 era.}

So here in DC was chief of intelligence Charles Cabell, knowing that they hadn't solved their airspace invasion problem, but with a violently hostile Wright-Patterson chief of intelligence, and a complete dud project staffer. The huge ultrabright Scientific Advisory Board available to the Pentagon was not only unused but got the impression that the subject was irrelevant.

This situation was pathetic, but just might have lulled its way into the obscure past if the UFO phenomenon had just faded away.

It did not.

During the "Grudge Era" {1949-1951~}, the UFOs seemed markedly unconcerned about the Pentagon's desire for unconcern. Sitting over on the East Asian side of the Pacific, the Commander of the Far-Eastern Air Force [FEAF] was getting unidentified airspace intrusions in the Japanese and Korean flyzones. As we were just about to go to war in Korea, this was not taken lightly. FEAF sent those reports as required by JANAP to the Pentagon and Wright-Pat... and got nothing back. Finally FEAF began saying things like "WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?" Here in the North American continent, Continental Air Command [CONAC] was having the same problems. General Cabell was feeling some heat.

Then the US scientists began to chime in. At VERY strategic scientific locations like Los Alamos, Sandia, White Sands, Fort Bliss, and Oak Ridge, there began to be observed an uncomfortable amount of odd things in the sky. At Los Alamos, at least on three occasions, lab scientists noticed increased radiation "excursions" on laboratory equipment, which were coincident with UFO sightings nearby. Were they observing "fall-out" from the flying objects' powerplants? Were they nuclear? This became such an interest that several heavyweight scientists like Harold Agnew [key figure in the Manhatten Project and later to be the actual Director of LANL] banded together to form a UFO observation team and data collector group. They nick-named themselves "The Los Alamos Bird Watchers Association". As time went on, the number of cases was large enough that they developed their own internal UFO report forms to fill out.

Yes, USAF: What the hell is going on?

As Project Grudge continued to snooze [Smith got replaced without angering Watson and moved successfully on, ultimately making General and no waves; his replacements were more in the "get a case, read it, laugh about it a while, and make some explanation up" mode], and Watson continued making irritating public remarks, Cabell at the Pentagon had to slap Watson down a bit to try to at least get Grudge looking at the USAFs own internal cases. This slapping didn't work, and Cabell was lied to about Grudge doing its job.

Out in the real world, more sky invasions. This included the to-this-day mystery of the Green Fireballs. These things were like meteor fireballs but the wrong color [a sort of light lime green] and looking, even to VERY experienced meteor observers, as if they were often "flying horizontally". The really bad part of this was that they were doing whatever they were doing over the Atomic Energy Commission's secret labs at Los Alamos, Sandia, and, shortly, Oak Ridge. The potential significance of that was not lost by the people working there, nor the military in charge.

Right at the top of these power structures the alarms were going off, and the complaints began moving towards the Pentagon. General Cabell was once again reaping a stinking mess from the policy that the Pentagon had sown.

It appears as if it was the Atomic Energy Commission who had enough weight to get the Air Force to move at all. But the Pentagon apparently didn't trust Wright-Patterson to do this job, and with reluctance spent a little money to form Project Twinkle out of their Cambridge [MA] Research Labs.

Twinkle with woefully little real money and support accomplished little. It did track a few objects. Previously a local commander had sanctioned a plane to fly a "dustcatcher" along the route of a green fireball, and the analysis showed unusual copper content in that dust. These were the sorts of things [plus radiation detector arrays and regular watch groups with the sorts of scopes used to track missile launches, etc] that the local commanders and scientists wanted done. Almost none of it was.

Pathetic it seems and pathetic it was. But the overwhelming fear of the Soviet nuclear threat and the need to pursue what was not yet realized as the policy of "mutually-assured-destruction {MAD}" tossed all else aside. Nevertheless, a near-impossible tidal shift in Pentagon atmosphere [as far as UFOs were concerned] was about to take place in late 1951. It would usher in the last "golden" moments for investigating the problem by our military.

Next time....

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