Historic UFOs - Air Force
Launches Major Coverup
Effort In 1952
From Frank Warren

Note - Although this was not the Air Force's first attempt to explain away the mass sightings of the flying saucers over the Capitol, it was by far the most grandiose. The names of the men who would soon become "infamous" in the history of Ufolgy, e.g., Capt. E.J.Ruppelt, Gen. Roger Ramey, and Dr. D.H. Menzel were all present at the largest press conference since the end of the second world war.
Air Force Debunks Saucers As
Just 'Natural Phenomenon'
By Austin Stevens
New York Times
July 30th, 1952
Intelligence Chief Denies a Menace Exists -"Objects" Believed to be Reflections, but "Adequate" Guard Will be Kept
WASHINGTON, July 29 -Air Force Headquarters skimmed away into the broken dishware bin today the latest wave of "flying saucers." It called them "natural phenomenon" and announced through high ranking general officers that henceforth the Air Force would treat reports of the discs with "adequate but not frantic attention."
Bedeviled by a new series of sightings of mysterious glowing objects in the air over the capital and else where, the Air Force called a press conference at the Pentagon to give out what information it had.
AT the end of one hour and twenty minutes of exchange between a large group of reporters and the Air Forces chief "saucer" students, Maj. Gen. James A. Samford, Chief of Intelligence, agreed to the following summary of his views:
"So called "flying saucers" constitute no menace to the United States."
"None of the several thousand 'saucer' reports checked by the Air Force in the last six years has disclosed the existence of any material flying object, except where the report emanated from a observer's sighting of a United States plane or missile, and his mistaking it for something else."
"The United States has nothing in its arsenal of weapons, either existing or developmental, that has an unlimited speed and no mass, characteristics attributed to many alleged 'saucers.'"
"Radar is capable of playing tricks for which is what not designed; so is the human eye."
Appearing before the press in by no means a scoffing mood, but instead in an agreeable atmosphere of willingness to discuss everything they new, the Air Force officials said they considered it the service's "obligation" to continue to investigate saucer reports.
General Samford insisted, in the face of recent reports here from both skilled pilots and radar operators who had sighted "objects" that the great need in "saucer" investigation was a method of measurement. Even trained pilots, whose word is not doubted, he indicated, are not capable of properly assessing the make-up of the fiery objects they have been reporting.
Out of today's conference emerged a favorite theory, but one that the experts conceded did not answer everything.
It is that in the kind of weather that existed here -hot and humid-there is created something known as a temperature inversion. This, it was explained, is the existence of a layer of cooler air stretched between two hot layers. This condition can cause certain reflections of light for both the human eye and the far- from -infallible radar screen, which was designed to detect solid objects.
For example, during inverted temperature periods might very well appear reflected in the clouds as globes of light. These reflections could be picked up both by airborne pilots and by ground operators of radar apparatus, according to General Samford and the staff of specialists he brought to the news conference.
Third Time in Ten Days
Three times in the last ten days, it was disclosed, the Capitol Area has reported flying objects, some stationery, others moving at various speeds.
The latest report came today from operators of the Civil Aeronautics Administration radar apparatus at National Airport, who said their equipment had picked up numerous objects from 2:30 to 6:00 a.m. A spokesmen said as many as twelve unidentified objects had appeared on the radar screen at one time, but that "no visual sightings were made." Consequently he added, the near-by Andrews Air Force Base was not notified and no jet fighters were dispatched to investigate.
General Samford's staff attempted to explain the supposedly moving objects as sightings of separate phenomena.
As an example of how ground objects can be reflected into the clouds and mistakenly identified, one Air Force expert told of a pilot who nearly crashed his plane into the ground while chasing an "object" that had appeared in his airplane's radar screen.
The Air Force experts said that although they had run down more then 1000 supposed sightings of "saucers" or other objects in recent years, only 20 percent of the reports from credible sources remained unexplained


Recalling the signs in the sky of one sort or another dated to atleast Biblical Times, General Samford stated that one reason for the "saucer" flurries was undoubted the great increase in man-made activity in the air. He also cited "jumpiness" because of war fears and, without saying so, the desire of some persons to seek publicity.
He also said that a trained Air Force pilot, or an experienced radar operator, assigned to chase "saucers" or define them on his radar screen, also were subject to "curiosity stimulus" that would result in overemphasis.
No Geographical Pattern Seen
General Samford, who was joined in the discussion by Maj. Gen. Roger Ramey, Operations Chief of the Air Force, said that he was satisfied not only that none of the "saucer sightings" represented the flight of any vehicle, missile or anything else material but also the geographical pattern of the sightings represented nothing significant.
That there have been a large number of so-called sightings around such installations as those of the Atomic Energy Commission, General Samford attributed to the "sensitiveness" of the areas and the staff. It did not follow, he said, that the reports from critical defense areas were any more accurate or reliable than those received from an Iowa cornfield.
It was also brought out that radar had for many years been picking up "blips" on it screens created by other things than aircraft.
In announcing that it's investigation of "saucer" phenomenon would go forward, the Air Force said that it was purchasing two hundred relatively inexpensive cameras equipped with defraction grids that, when focused on light phenomenon, would disclose the source of the light.
Consideration is also being given to the purchase of a special telescope with a wide angle lens that could photograph large sections of the sky and show up the appearance of light phenomena.


This Site Served by TheHostPros