- There's been a lot of speculation on the irony of the
"birth of the CIA" in September, of 1947, ( formerly, The Central
Intelligence Group) coinciding with all the "flying saucer activity"
beginning in June of that year, starting with Kenneth Arnold's sighting
over Mt Rainier to the "crashed discs" in the area of Roswell
New Mexico. Some have claimed, that the sole purpose in creating the CIA
was to investigate the "flying saucer" phenomenon. That, of course
is not the case. [CIG and then CIA were born primarily out of the realization
of the importance of a "post war" intelligence gathering agency,
similar to it's "war time" predecessor, the OSS, and President
Truman's frustration with being out of the "intelligence loop,"
as "Vice President," in addition to the difficulty it had been
for him to obtain information from the various government departments,
each of which seemed "walled off" from the others.]
- [At that time, by many accounts, he had been surprised
to discover how much information relating to intelligence and national
security matters had been withheld from him. The most dramatic evidence
of how ill-informed he was came on his 12th day in office when Secretary
of War Henry Stimson briefed him for the first time on the Manhattan (atomic
bomb) Project, about which Truman had heard only hints while serving as
Vice President and on key Senate committees.] David McCullough, Truman
(New York: Simon and Shuster, 1992), pp. 376-378.
- [It is interesting to note however, that both CIG and
the OSS did in fact investigate UFO,s individually. The OSS investigated
what US pilots had nicknamed "Foo Fighters (UFO,s trailing our aircraft)
during World War II, fearing that these objects could be a "new secret
weapon from either Germany or Japan. The OSS also investigated possible
sightings of German V-1 and V-2 rockets before their operational use during
the war.] Jacobs, UFO Controversy, p. 33 [The Central Intelligence Group,
the predecessor of the CIA, also monitored reports of "ghost rockets"
in Sweden in 1946.] CIG, Intelligence Report, 9 April 1947.
- The CIA's "official" position on the"
investigation of UFO's" from a historical stand point is this; [ Although
it had "monitored UFO reports for at least three years, (49 to 52)
CIA reacted to the new rash of sightings by forming a special study group
within the Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) and the Office of Current
Intelligence (OCI) to review the situation.] Gerald K. Haines, National
Reconnaissance Office historian, Ralph L. Clark, Acting Assistant Director,
OSI, memorandum to DDI Robert Amory, Jr., 29 July 1952. OSI and OCI were
in the Directorate of Intelligence. Established in 1948, OSI served as
the CIA's focal point for the analysis of foreign scientific and technological
developments. In 1980, OSI was merged into the Office of Science and Weapons
Research. The Office of Current Intelligence (OCI), established on 15 January
1951 was to provide all-source current intelligence to the President and
the National Security Council.
- Until 1952, one could conclude, based on these statements,
that the CIA had no "direct involvement" in the investigation
of "flying saucers," other then a monitoring position of other
agencies, i.e., [ the Air Force's Project SIGN (initially named Project
SAUCER) to collect, collate, evaluate, and distribute within the government
all information relating to such sightings, on the premise that UFOs might
be real and of national security concern.] Jacobs, The UFO Controversy,
p. 156 and Quintanilla, "The Investigation of UFOs," p. 97. [Amid
mounting UFO sightings, the Air Force continued to collect and evaluate
UFO data in the late 1940s under a new project, GRUDGE, which tried to
alleviate public anxiety over UFOs via a public relations campaign designed
to persuade the public that UFOs constituted nothing unusual or extraordinary.
UFO sightings were explained as balloons, conventional aircraft, planets,
meteors, optical illusions, solar reflections, or even "large hailstones."
They recommended that the project be reduced in scope because the very
existence of Air Force official interest encouraged people to believe in
UFOs and contributed to a "war hysteria" atmosphere. On 27 December
1949, the Air Force announced the project's termination.] Air Force, Projects
GRUDGE and BLUEBOOK Reports 1- 12 (Washington, DC; National Investigations
Committee on Aerial Phenomena, 1968) and Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, pp.
- Now this is where it gets interesting; there seems to
be a contradiction in facts as "evidenced" by the "Oral
History Interview with Robert B. Landry" given February 28, 1974,
by, James R. Fuchs for Harry S. Truman Library: (Robert B. Landry was a
member of faculty, National War College, 1946; Executive Officer to Army
Air Force Chief of Staff, General Carl Spaatz, 1947; United States Air
Force Aide to President Truman, 1948-53).
- Subject: UFOs; Date: 1948
- In this time period the UFO phenomenon was getting quite
a bit of play in the press, radio, TV and from miscellaneous other sources.
All manner of objects and things were being seen in the sky by people,
including attempted UFO landings and UFO hoverings over isolated areas.
There was even a report of seeing little men with big round heads getting
in and out of a UFO. Well, the President, like any other citizen, is exposed
to all these goings on, too.
- In any case, I was called one afternoon to come to the
Oval Office--the President wanted to see me. We talked about UFO reports
and what might be the meaning for all these rather way-out reports of sightings,
and the subject in general.The president said he hadn't give much serious
thought to all these reports; but at the same time, he said, if there was
any evidence of a strategic threat to the national security, the collection
and evaluation of UFO data by Central Intelligence warranted more intense
study and attention at the highest government level.
- I was directed to report quarterly to the President after
consulting with Central Intelligence people, as to whether or not any UFO
incidents received by them could be considered as having any strategic
threatening implications at all.
- The report was to be made orally by me unless it was
considered by intelligence to be so serious or alarming as to warrant a
more detailed report in writing. During the four and one-half years in
office there, all reports were made orally. Nothing of substance considered
credible or threatening to the country was ever received from intelligence.
Note: the Air Force had been charged by the Department of Defense with
the collection and evaluation of UFO data from all sources such as the
other services, the National Weather Service, and any other reliable source.
- It would appear, based on "that interview"
that the CIA was "directly involved" in the "investigation
of UFO's" as early as 1948, not 1952, as previously mentioned in the
article by Gerald K. Haines. Landry concludes that "nothing of substance
considered credible or threatening to the country was ever received from
intelligence," however we know that's not true based on Haines' article;
[ a massive buildup of sightings over the United States in 1952, especially
in July, alarmed the Truman administration. On 19 and 20 July, radar scopes
at Washington National Airport and Andrews Air Force Base tracked mysterious
blips. On 27 July, the blips reappeared.]
- Personally I believe that Landry played no real part
in any serious investigation by CIA. I think his role, was for appearance
sake, unwittingly. Truman was receiving "intelligence reports"
on a daily and weekly basis, since 1946, from CIG, then CIA beginning in
47. There would have been no reason for Landry to be involved. Having said
that, remember that "flying saucers" were being seen all over
the country and were making headlines coast to coast. Any "lack of
response" on Truman's part, I think would have been highly unusual.
So, overtly, he tasked Landry in his minor role, to report to the President
as to "appease" outward appearances of official concern of the
- In conclusion, as more and more documents become "declassified,"
I think we as the public, won't be surprised to see the "ever changing"
official positions of various government agencies. Moreover we've witnessed
this in recent years, with the Air Force's explanation(s) of the "Roswell
Incident. Fortunately, with man's advancement in personal technologies,
i.e., desk top computers, camcorders, and the internet, it's getting much
harder for the government to pass off eye witness sightings of UFO's as,
mass hysteria, hallucination, swamp gas, ball lightening or heat inversions.
Because of that, this author feels we're coming to the inevitable, eventuality
of "government disclosure" that we are but a member, of a vast
- © 2001 Frank Warren firstname.lastname@example.org