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This document was obtained from The Black Vault, an online database 
of declassified government docyments. This particular record is housed 
in the Project Blue Book Collection, a compilation of more than 140,000 pages 
across more than 10,000 case flies of Projects Sign, Grudge and Blue Book* 
The entire collection is free to download and online at: 

a, JMIUARI 1953 






USAF Historical Archives 

Maxwell AFB, Ala 36112 







means that we were not able to correlate all the deta« but there is no doubt 
In our minds but what the reported object was a balloon* A possible balloon 
la where we check the report with balloon data and cannot find a correlation 
yet we still believe the object waa a balloon* factor acco^tis fory^lo^” 

bal^oo^> t)ykt ±Sf ballons that may have developed slow leaks 4ind floated 
^peat' dist^oos* In all our categories of balloonsi aircraft^ and aatrononiloal 
bodies > we use these three breakdowns* 

(slide showing Breakdown of Conclusions) 

In analyzing 1021 reports *^nd those are reports that have been received 
through military channels and do not Include several hundred reports from clvll- 

direct to ATIC, 

the following is 

the breakdown of conclusions 


















Astronomical Bodies 









(Ducks over drive-in movies. 


searchlights on clouds, etc.) 





(Explanation not proven) 


Insufficient Data to Evaluate 



20.1 % 


L- J 

This loaves a balance of tO.l 

of the reports which aro classified r.s un- 

a definition of the terrr •’unknown" is in order 


there is more than one source or observer. Again^ this does not mean that Just 

because a person is alone* sees something he cannot explain to himself and re 

ports it* his account of what he saw is laughed off. Normally one person Just 

cannot supply thn necessary data. For this reason* wo dwell more on reports 

where the data can be substantiated by others. To go a step further* in a re- 

port we classify as unknown there can be no doubt as to the reliability of the 

persons making the observation. If the report contains a relatively good amount 

of data* it is then checked against the location of known objects, phenoirwna* 

etc. If none of these explain the sighting* it is classed as unknown. It might 

well be that if we had more data on the sighting* It could easily be explained 

of 'Unknofwns ) 

As you yiill note on this slide we have plotted all of pur reports we classl 


• They tenp to concentrate abound Albuquei^ue* Washington* D, 
and San Ahtonio* with Albuqqerque presenting the greatfist area 

ore aware ol7 the vital 

of conceritrafclon. It m/ky bo that the people there are 

^a.turo their inrftrgu/y and are more alJrt bo report things they poo in the air 

^V]iy Omtlnuo The Project? 

isos* "If ^st of^thosW^ reports <^an be ox}$lainq4» 

I might state now that tho project will bo continued 

and the subject will continue to be treated seriously. There are several rea 

0113 why tho proJ"rb will bo continued 

a. There are reports wo cannot explain. Tife believe wo can explain all 

bub about 20^, but if you notad tho breakdown of conclusions, we only can po"j 

With tho world situation what it is and %Tlth tho 

ent advanco.j in scienco, it behooves th 


thoy can rnceivo roportft o£, nvaluatu, and dotonnino tlio idontiby of objocba 
reportedly riyinc over tho United States. 


b. Thero is no assurance that at some future data some foreign povrer 


could not develop some object that by present day standarda is unconventional 

In appearance or performance. Due to the fact that the term "flying saucer" 
has become almost a household word for anything that cannot be identified as a 
conventional object# it might be reported as a flying saucer, Tho Japanese 
paper balloons of World War II are an example of this, 

c. The third reason is related to tho first. The Air Force is re- 

sponsible for the aerial protection of tho United States, It is our responsi- 

■ ■-VI I— 'I I 

blli ty to assure ourael ves ai^ the p ublic that those continuing reports, and 
we believe they will continue# are not a threat* 

To give you a little better idea of the project# I would like to tell you 

how we operate* Air Force Letter 200-5 Is the basis for our operation* It states 

that the Air Technical Intelligence Center is responsible for analyzing all re- 
ports of unidentified flying objects and that each Air Force unit is responsible 
for forwarding reports that they receive to the Air Technical Intelligence Center, 

It further states that all reports will be forvrarded by wire then followed up 

within three days by a written AF Fonn 112, 

thff~^e p o rt - ean b e mad e i - n let ter f era* This reporting requirement in AFL ^0-5 
does not mean that tho officer receiving the report from tho source or tho ol>- - 

server does not have the prerogative to make his own evaluation and determine ^ 
whether or not the observation is worth forwarding. He may do this in two ways, * 

He may be able to identify the object# if he does# it is no longer an unidenti- 

fied flying object, and therefore, does not have to be forwarded. Secondly# It 

may evaluate the report according to source and content and determine that it 




* V 

^ .w; I n I. , j 

^P would be of no value as far as analysis is concerned* 

To break tills last point 

down further* the officer receiving the report may believe the source is of 
doubtful character or it may be obvious that the source did not make careful 
observations* In general* a report from only one inexperienced observer is 
not too helpful* 'Th^ is not beeauso y/e doubt the ojbserver's word/as to what ^ 

J I I ! 

he saf; it is becaijee most people ha^ difficulty estimating time/^ angles, / 


If several peq^le make an obiervatlon thel^ estimates pan 

/ .* / / 


rax^ive size* 


arranged an<y^the results are little more accurate* It a good ide^* 

/ / ' •' / / 

nowaver, to a£ least note the pame and address or telephone yiiumber of a^h 

jT i - / -r" 

/ / .■ /■ / 

sources si^e it might be ti^t their obseryption would tl^ in with ot^rs and 

It would >6e necessary to contact them aga/n* 7x* 

tT ^ •tk*, ^ At* 


t Operationa /6c c 

Very probably some of you have forwarded reports of unidentified flying 
objects toj ATIC and have wondered what h appened to jbhem* Project Blue Bc^k Is 

set up to |r eceive and analyzp all such reports* Tne T*0* calls for 1| ofiieers* 
2 airmen ind 2 civilians* ikke any other organlzailon* the actual strength 
fluctuates* In addition tol these full-tim e peraoimel* the Center has many 
speclali^s* mostly engineers in many fields* and/these people are callld upon 

to aid lb analysis as they /are needed* To supplw people with specialties not 

availab ly at ATI C* ATIC ha^ a contract with a large research organization which 
employs /people in many field^ These include ^hirsicists* nuclear phyiiclsts* 

metallurgists* psychologlsfts * an astronomer* and almost any other fielLd you can 

I ] I 

name. /These people can bq called upon if they needed. The astronomer la 
frequently consulted* 

going over the operation of Project Blujb Book, I will tell j|ou how we 


check/ reports. You can ^se these same processes to make your own e^jaluations 

i ra.s jtatQii baf or q /*^ if you are convinced^ that the object was d conventional 


S T R rc T E D unclassified. 


hack with th 

tower. CM radi 

weather etattlon 

the source la extr^ely important* We 

Inteiligeriice matters 

63 are /poor apurcoa^ 

objdcb, don^b forward It asj an unidentified f lyinpr^h^aoW TO- he va^ f**ank 

! 1 \ ' 1 ^ 

aboii^b this sub^ocbj ATIC r0<^glvaa many reports thaUaro obviouslv known objects 

Tlii^ only clogs*, up channels b.f* communication and at y^mes has appjroached be^ng 
seriioua.jl It Is obvious that the intoUl^once office^ did not mal^ any eff^^ 

' i ' ’ \ ] I 

to cjetermino whether or not ^hraro were afiy balloons ib the area, ietc. We rpallze 

' ' ! I " 

t hat| In so me cados ajrtreji^s^eont imme^ately upo n rec eiving th a repo rt j.y^'e 
"shobt and then jask queatloiia”. Thin 1 e fihn enlj iJTji'p ii ju'iiijiiinlf 1 P thn i njji 1 1 

^ T— — — — — x<^ * «**- t-Y {A ^ 


know ps|/^cholo^ Is a str^ig element in this project* Although wje maintai^ 


that almost everyone who reports i^tually has seen son^hing, at /times t^y un- 

' / i' / 

consciously lej; their imagination/ twist the ^^cts. It^ is very tilfi’icult, if, 

■ i j i ^ / 

to set dpwn any i^ile to use evaluating a source* Sometiries 

you c^n talk tjo a person and l&Arn that the^ are ver^ imaginaj(ive* go ailot 
on the personas backgrc^nd, ago^^and sex, ^ alrll ny pilot msiy see a ^apor /bra il 
but ^o a housewife it ^s a flyin g saucer, bosslbly P7 the fact th^^t she 

^ust read^'^azing Stevies”, ^Thls does not mean al^ hous 
but categor;^ for category, commercial aiJlinQ pilots are moje relial[ls th^n 

/ / i 

hc^isewives/ simply because thfay have seen/ a larger yarlety ol things! In the air 


Wlien we receive a report, the first thing that we chock it for is the possi- 

bility of its being a balloon, aircraft or astronomical body because those three 

objects give us the most trouble. To go into each of them a little more specifi- 

cally, we will start with balloons, 


-nro tr.'O dirfnront poneral cat-cRorJoa of h.Tl.loot).i » Ono in th^ 

ronoorch tyj'io bjilioon* Thone balloona vary In Khapo and 3i7.o and arc rcl'Janod 
fro'ii vnrioi.13 points Jn bho Unitod States dopordinc upon what project? nro bo- 
ln;» conducted and are not launched at any achodulod time* They may bo amall 
like noather balloons^ they may bo clusters of those weather balloons, or they 
may bo largo poi.yothylone balloon:i that are 100 ^ in dlainotor. With the present 
emphasis on cosmic ray study many different tj'^pcs of balloons are being ln?mched 

in the United States. 

^ 7 0AUt> k.T 

The other category is the regularly launched weather balloons. Those are 
launched from known locations in the United States at definite times. 

Project Blue Book gets data on the large research type balloons either 
through Hq ADC or, if necessary, direct from the launching agency. Due to the 
nature of this problem, ATIC is familiar with most of the agencies in the coun- 
try who are launching research balloons and can go directly to these people to 
get information on their balloon tracks. Since the launch sites are changed 
frequently, this requires constant liaison. 

It is possible that now or in the near future your division or Force will 
get data on all launches of rssearch type balloons. It is definitely worth a 
try to contact the division or Force. If they do not have the tracks, they may 
know of a launch program. Normally these large balloons travel great, distances 
and it may be difficult to get data without going to Hq ADC. 

On the regularly scheduled weather balloon launches, Blue Book has data on 
all launch sites and knows the approximate time of launch each day. We have 
tho authority to directly to these stations to obtain data on their balloons 
or, if tho time elnment is not critical, to go through Air Weather Service to 
got it from their central files. Fortunately, many of those ballooae aro bracked 

elthai' hy radar or by radio DF and 1.t is possible to get the exact tracks of tho 




TJioSo Lailoons are scheduled to bo launched at OJOO*', OjOOZj 1 ^Q OS,..a^I 

||a< 1 IrtktAX { /J.IU, t AA ^ *t**''*‘^ yjAl4^f 

2100Z oaoh day/ out can be launched plus or I'dnus 3^ ulnutoo oL' this ti,!Ti:». 
Noiirly every airbase and civilian airport aervicini^ a ach'’ duled airline re- 
leases soma type of v/eather balloon, either the small piball that is braclted 
visually or the instnunent cariying type that is tracked by radio or radar. 
Although these balloons can develop a slow leak and float for long disuances, 
they normally will not gat more than 3d Jiill ea from thoir release point. To 
be safe uae a distance of 3d miles. 

If you get a report of an object you believe to be a balloon, check with 
your weather officer. He will know what stations in your area launch balloons 
and from the general wind conditions at the time of the sighting toll you where 
the balloon probably came fi*om. You can then get the plot of balloon tracks 
and definitely establish whether the object was a balloon. If there are sev- 
eral launch locations In your area, you may have to check them all. f.'nny times 
a call to the unit launching the balloon will suffice as they can tell you the 
location of their balloon at a given time. 

Balloons do not give us any trouble wlien they look like balloons, it is 
when they don't look like balloons that they give us trouble and thuy can take 
on many odd appearances. In the daytime a balloon will appear to be a very 
bright star in the sky, Iffhat is happening is that the sun* a rays are diffusing 
into the balloon and causing it to glow. Under Idual conditions, a balloon can 
be seen as high ae 90j000*, but under more adverse conditions a balloon possibly 
cannot be seen over U^UOO' to 6,000*. It depends a great deal on the haze. 
IXiring the daytime a balloon at very high altitude itIII appear to bo statioinrj» 
or traveling very slowly. At night balloons that are lighted will appear lu be 
a radically moving light. This liglit may even appear to charge color, duo to 

atmospheric conditions. 'Ihc batlcon will chango direction with rdnd and will 
appear to be on a jerky, zif-zagty course. Since most people observing these 
balloons do not have any reference point in the sky, the balloons appear to 
be moving very much faster tJian they really are. At dawn or duak a balloon can 
appear to be a fiery red, circular shaped object in the sky. The reason for 
this is that the balloon Is picking up the slanted rays of tlio sun, exactly the 
same as a cloud will pick up the sun's rays in a sunset. It maybe ttuat if the 
balloon Is high enough, it can be dark on the ground but It will be sunset at 

Some balloons carry radar reflectors or metallic loads capable of giving a 
radar return. The clue to this is that they will be traveling with and at the 
same speed as the wind at their altitude. 


Aircraft, as aircraft, do not give us a great deal of trou ble, it i s when 
they are high and reflecting sunlight or leaving a vapor trail that the y ar e 
most often mis recognized. Similar to the situation with balloons , a va por trail 
will appear to glow at da?m or dusk. Uany times the aircraft leaving the vapor 
trail cannot even be seen, however, the vapor will appear to be a bright fiery 
red streak of flame in the sky. Formations of aircraft reflecting the sunlight 
can very often appear as a formation of disc-shaped objects. At times the re- 
flection will suddenly diminish causing the objects to look like they were either 
moving rapidly out of sight or Just disappearing. 

ATIC does not have a satisfactory system for checking aircraft, Ttjls is 
because Flight Service and CAA does nob keep a permanent record of aircraft 
flights very long after the aircraft has landed. Tliorofore, it is up to tho 
officer receiving tlio report from the observer to thoroughly chock alrci'afb move- 
ments inuiindiatoly, Jle may chock those thixiugh tho coiitrol tower, thi'ough Flight 

RESTRICTED wiccassified 


Sorvice, through CAA radio otatlong, radar j or many various ways, but he should 
chock thoroughly to see whether or not there were any' aircraft flights in the 
area of tho sighting. ADC units have a distinct advantage here, because if the 
report is received soon enough, radar can be checked* 

Astronomical Bodies 

As far as astronomical bodies are concern ed, ATIC has a pr ofe ssior^ l as tro no- 
mer under contract to review sightings that they believe to be caused by astronom- 
ical bodies. By astronomical bodies we mean bright stars, planets, or meteors* 

The most valuable information In the analysis of an unidentified flying object 
that is suspected of being an astronomical body is the bearing, tho aziinuth, 
and the time* FVcm this we can check back through almanacs and determine the 
locations of certain bright stars* Stars that give us trouble are Venus, Jupi- 
ter, Capella and several others* Tou can check stars by obtaining the approx- 
imate time, azimuth and elevation of the reported object and grabbing the nearest 

P^eteors are not too difficult to evaluate because they seem to have a etan- 
dard d escription* If someone reports an object similar to a rocket going across 
the sky at high speed and leaving a trail behind it, chances are it is a meteor* 
However, In certain Instances we have had very unusual meteors repojrted* We 
have found that there are certain classes of meteors that astronomers call flre-^ 
balls* Diese are so rare that there is a good chance that you may see only one 
in your life, if any* This has probably accounted for many reports by pilots 
who state that they met a huge ball of fire coming directly at their aircraft 
and at times have even racked up the aircraft to get out of its patn* Uany 
times these are reported as missiles* We have had pilots who have complained 
to the Air Force about shooting rockets, or experimental missiles, through the 

airways and endangering their aircraft* This is a rather foolish statement, 


hfjvmver, v^hcTi you to thinking about it* One> if a miofsilo oppearod any- 
vjhonu outaiclo proving p;rounds chancos aro it nould bo onciny. Hoivover> if 
you havo ntufliod micolToo you nlll note that tlio burring time, or the blmo 
bnfore fuel cut-olT, Is only a relatively short peiiod during the mlosilo'o 
night. If wo v/ould say, hypothetically, a rocket was shot from some forolgn 
country into tho United States, chances are very good that the fuel shut-off 
point, v/ould hnvo come long before the rocket aver reached the United States 
and it would not be omitting a flame. 

You can check meteors by looking for accounts of them in the newspaper, 

or consulting local astronomers. 

Other Causow of Reports 

Naturally balloons, aircraft and astronomical bodies do not account for 
all tho sightings. We have a smaller percentage of other things, su ch as ducks 
flying over drive-in theaters at night, searchlights on clouds, blimps, pieces 
of paper caught in a n updr aft, and many other things that cause reports. Those 
are very difficult to chnek and to check thorn we normally go back to old sight- 
ings. For example, somotime back, approximately a year ago, the city of Fargo, 
North Dakota, was somewhat disturbed by glowing objects that flow over tho city 
on various nights. Finally, some of the more enterprising souls in tho city 
took enough interest in tho subject to attompt to determine what they were. All 
it vras were flocks of ducks or geose r eflecting the city's lights. Wo will take 
a case like this and mentally file it. When we come across a similar report, 
wo 'll go back and compare tho two reports. If they are similar enough, wo will 
writo the n<rw report off as being the same thing. This is about tho only meth- 
od wo have of chocking such things. 


Since ADC has tho vast majority of tho radar that is operating hours 




5 > 


Q t/> 


X -O 


s > 

2 . X 


5 : 

“ > 


> 7' 


s > 


mm % 










Ml • 







MARCH 1953 

‘ *. , .;■> ; 

DECLAbbUj^ g200.10 






pfji* dfiy, vro receives many reports from them* 

ADC RocelaLion 


rexsortintr. Tfiia reflation states v;hat inforiaation is to bo roi*i.-;:rded. ATTC 

uses a very similar questiosinaire. It >vas dosip'nod after the one in ADC R-.-p'* 
lation 200-5» but contains a fefw more Items. 

Wo recolvo quite a few radar sightings and aro woll av/nre oJ‘ the fact that 
weather and interference between two radars can cause vfierd effectis. Our 
problem is to determlna methods of more positively ostablishing the cause of 
certain effects and even being able to predict when these effects may bo more 
noticeable. Naturally, you people are also very much interested in this. 

We understand that ADC has already published their latest naterial on how 

to check for interference and weather, so I will not go into this. 

When reporting a radar sighting, the weather data are extremely important. 

Plots of the temperature and moisture vs, altitude should always bo reported. 

There are no reports of radar sightings in our file whose authenticity can- 
not be questioned to some degree. In none of the cases of erratic or ^ligh speed 
(above Uach 1) that vre have on file can it be shown that the track was actually 
that of a material object. One rare exception to this is when radars have hap- 
pened to track meteors. JLiore of our unknown high speed tracks might be mateors 
but unless we get reports of a niateor track bo correlate with the radar track, 
it Is difficult to separate out these reports. Lightning is another possibility 
but a very vague one. 

Radar Scope Photos 

A large number of Air Defense Cominand radar stations are equipped with 

radar scope cameras. ADC Reeulation authorizes ttio usu of these crmicras 

for photographing abnormal returns. These scope cajiioras 3 hou]d bo ruvdy to 

operate at all times since scope photos are an at^^oluto mint.;jSlLy I'ur bbo ac- 

curate evaluation of reports involving radar. In addition, bhoy give valtuible 

data for the study of weather and interference effects 

Simultaneous Radar Visual Sightinsa 

Reports of simultaneous visual reports that supposedly correlate with 

unusual^ high speed or erratic radar tracks* with the rare exceptions of me- 

teors and lightning* are a different story* No presently known phenomena or 

condition will give this situation* If it can be shown that the object sighted 

visually and the radar track are the same* the report warrants a detailed in- 


have good reports of simultaneous visual-radar sightings^but again there are 

always factors that shed varying degrees of doubt as to whether or not the 

observations involved the same object 

The first factor In establishing a correlation is to check the flight path 

or location of the visually observed object with that shown on radar* If this 

correlates closely the next step is to establish that the time was the same* 

sometimes a difficult task. Other checks can also be made but these two are 


Other Simultaneous Sightings 

Any report of an object seen from two separated locations is relatively 

important* These include two locations on the ground* from the ground and air* 
etc* Of these* the best way to gather very accurate data Is to utilize two 
ifeodolites or a theodolite combined with a plain visual sighting* The use of 

a theodolite is considered an instrumental observation* For those who are not 

familiar with the term* a theodolite is a device for accurately measuring the 

azimuth and elevation angles during weather balloon flights. Nearly every air 

base and large civilian airport has one* It can be put into use by merely coll 

ing the weather station and requesting that they try to observe the reported 

object, Tlio data needed are the tijne* elevation, and' azimuth at one minute 


t • 


intorvals for aa long arf tho object is in vloiv or for at leant ?0 minuton if 
It appearo to be hovering. If an adjacent air bnao can be contacted and re- 
quested to do the samo> preferably at the same thnOf you've hit the jackpot 
as far as good data are concerned# 

yi|o fS how !Trl angula t i o n Clielo| » 

Cross Chock With T h e GOC 

Another ready source of possible information that may shed some light on 
a report of an unidenti fied flying object is tho Ground Observer Corps. The 
OOC can be used in two trays ^ they may make reports and they can cross-check, 
reports • 

If one GO 9 post calls in a report as they are directed to do in ADCR 55-31 

V. / ■ i 

a nearby post^can bo contacted by th/fe filter center to see ;frhether they can see 

! / / 

the reporto^# If they can^ there 1/s a beautiful set up for triangulation# Tho 


observers ^an estimate the elevat4-ou and azimuth# Posts equipped vrith angle 

measuring devices could make ve^ accurate readings# 

/ f 

/ , 

If a report should come ;ln from a source other than tho OOC, they could 


be co/itacted and possibly identify the reported object# It might be that they 
have seen and positively identified a balloon, mjStoor, or aircraft, while a 
pilot flying in the area observed the object from a different angle and could 
not make an identification# 

Summary on Report Evaluatlorus 

It woxild be impossible to give you all the checks that can be made on re- 
ports since each report requires a different approach, I've given you a few 

I ~ 

ideas and you can undoubtedly think of more. One thing we do ask is that when 
you make a check on a report you obtain enough data to substantiate your con- 
clusion. Just because someone reported four objects near a city and there were 
four aircraft in formation near the sams city, don't quictcly assume they wore 




OIK3 'JM'l th '1 sai’iO, Get sortto 

jpft^Ion on bbo locabion of tho i-eportod object. 

tlio timo and courno, then chock this aRalnnt the flijrhb of tho aircraft. If 


it corrolabea to a reanonablo degree, thoy were very probably tho aaino thing* 

“("Tide Cliuiiijig ruiiJiiblo OlinLKTJj 
Roporting Golutiona 

If, cbiring an invootigation of a sighting, after a IWX has been sent report- 

ing tho incident, the invest! gating officer should Idontify the reported object. 

ATIC should be immediately notified as to the solution. 

PoDular Theories 

— I ■■ ■ I t imm 

Many theories have been advnacod that all of the reports aro duo to mirages, 
sun dogs, ice clouds and vrhab-have-you . Some of our reports aro caused by such 
things. Vlfe have received excellent photos of sun dogs and descriptions of ml- 
mtos. Those are definitely in the minority, however, and cause only a small per- 
centage of the sightings* 

Another popular solution is t hat all "flying saucers" aro "skyhook" balloons* 

■ 7 ? 

To chock this a study of about cross-country balloon tracks were made* To 


remove any doubt, tho tracks wore taken of flights made during July and August 

193 ^ when reports were coming in at the rate of 39 per day* Tliese balloons were 


seen and reported as "flying saucers" at only ’ points* 

allbO!! iruuR57 

0u:-3 tionnaii'es 

jire continually being asked, "What infonnatlon do you'^^want in a report?" 

a r o ugh 

e pmn up t>int> h-.tvo mivui ' 

be f rirh 1 


I ’it are not given in any great detail, 

KJLfy H O—O 

X r»70 ty]50s of rope rtij are required by AFL POO— a report by wire and a writ- 
ten report on an AF Form 112* 



ourco. Thlr inrludoa rf.Tl.9 

and thifl an^ircn's 

tlm«j location, doao 

Any other dotallg that will help cleri.fy the aightinf' 

nai?i0 and occupation 

should bo reported 

To aldxthe intelligonce officor In collecting data for the written report, 



Blue Book haavcompiled lists of questions that pertain to nearly overj'^ sighting 

Those questions 'have been arranged in the form of a questionnaire. Two ques 

tlonnalres, one for radar and one for visual sightings, have been complotod and 

are now In use. Two others, one for sightings made from the air and one for 

general background data^ are in the process of being developed. Those question 

naires are designed to a minlmiun amount of work on the part of the Intel 

ligence officer and will iitsure that all available data are included in the 

The Ground Observers Data Sheet (presently called USAF Technical Information 

Sheet J is to be filled out by the\ observer. It can be handcar ried or mailed 

The "Electronics Data Sheet" is to bo filled out by the intelligonce officer at 


the AGSeW Squadron with the assistance of a technician. If he is not a technician 

The "Aerial Observer's Data Sheet", that will be published soon, is to be filled 


out by the pilot of the aircraft from whieJr the observation was made. The forth 

coming "Supporting Data Sheet" will be filled out by the Intelligence officer 

making the report 

These questionnaires have been made up after a great deal of study. ApproX' 

imately a year a^b, ATIC arranged to have a group of scientists and professional 

people to design a questionnaire. These people studied all questionnaires that 

had been previously used in this project, they studied our file of sightings. 

and arri:Ved at a tentative version of our present questionnaire. This tentative 

questionnaire was used for a period of approximately three months, the results 


J L\ ! 


rnvi.'jlon.i inadej •'’n'? a fln*».t nupstionnniro wFia mado up. 



AFIj £00-5 fipncifios that tho writ ton roport bo submitted 05 . an AF Form 11? 


and that cnriaJn data bo includod. Tho quosUonnalrea covor/all bJio roqiiirod 



d'lLn. To comply ?*ith tho requirement for 5 ubirJ.ttlng a Fcrni 11? tho quectlon- 
nairoc may bo attachod as inclosures using Part A op/tho Forin 11? as a cover 

shnet or letter of trarumiittal. Doing this eavesf'a groat deal of typing on tho 

11 ?. 


Fjctra copies of thoso questionnaire^ should bo available soon. It has 


been tentatively agreed that they wiM be distributed through ADC channels. 

To further aid in reporting/ a manual "Hotr to Make Flying Object Reports” 
will soon be distributed. 

Wo hope that by ^alng tho questionnaire and guidance material that Is fur- 

nislied to intelli^dnce officers, the quality of the reports will improve. Some 


reports are satisfactory but very few contain enough data to make a good analysis 
Many highly qualified scientists have reviewed our files of reports in tho past 
two years and they always coimnont on the fact that additional data wore available 
and should have been reported. 

Do Sur e to I n clude Angles 

Ono item that is habitually left out of reports is the position of the ob- 


If a person Is familiar with tho location of stars> such as 

a navigator or an aotronomer» he can locate the path of tho object relative to 
those bodies. An easier way, however, is to use angles. The elevation and 

azimuth at the point of initial sighting and at tho point of disappearance can 

bo given. A short viord description can describe tho flight path between the 
tvro points, 

A pilot obaerving a light in the sky -while he is airborne can ©stabllsn 

its positJ.on by pointing the nose of the a/c toward it, reading his compass. 


RESTRICTED unclassified 

t t 


and estimating tho elevation while flying straight and level, T/lien reportlrig 
any angle. It should be stated whether it is true or magnetic, 

Vidoon Cameras 

u may have heard about a camera that has been modified for use on this 


project, NAt the present time, we have 100 of these cameras. They are a commer- 

cial model saereo camera with one lens fitted with a dj f fraction grating, Ihe 

grating serves as a prism to separate the light source into its various components 

Any light source tl^Syt is made up of an element or combination of elements has a 


distinctive spectrum, This spectrum is similar to a finger print, A file of tha 
spectra of known objects, ^ars, meteors, etc,, is being assembled and this file 
spectra can be compared to the Spectra obtained from photos from the cameras. 

These cameras will be placed in control towers and a few selected radar stations 
throughout the United States, Wo ^are hdving some difficulty with the gratings 
on these cameras, however, and consequently have not put them out in the field. 

The grating is a rather touchy piece of equipment .and we are having trouble get- 
ting it to staiKl up under certain conditions. 

We realize th^ this is not a fool-proof measure. These cameras are not a 
piece of highly navelopod scientific equipment, but we do hope that we may be 

able to obt^n some Information, 

Other In? trm; station - 

Hie possibilities of more extensive instrumentation h^ ^st^^sed in^^ 

detail, liany suggestions for more complete camovas, special Aircraft instrumen- 

tatlon, and other detection dovices have Ifton stadicd. It is possiole that a' 

study contract Ter such inr:Lrumontation may be let, but no actual program will 

bo started noa. The cost of such a pr-ograni would out-i/eigh tVie results. 

Sample Incidonts 




You might be interested in some of the reports we get 

I'll give you a 

brief description of tvro or three 

On the night of 15 May 195? about 10 P.M. four amateur astronomera were 
making observations through a small telescope on a college campus. All of a 
sudden they noticed four oval shaped objects in a diamond-shape formation. 


The objects appeared nearly overhead and disappeared at an angle of 12° above 
the horizon in about 3 seconds* The objects or lights were reddish brown In 
color and about the size of a half dollar, quarter turned, at arm's length* 

Our evaluation of this was unknovm. It could possibly have been ducks 
or geese reflecting light, except the observers pointed out that they had pur- 
posely set up their telescope in an area that was completely dark so that 
there would be no ground lights to hinder their observations* 

Another interesting sighting occurred at Patrick AFB in Jvtly 195^* Seven 
people, all AF personnel, observed five different lights near the base during 
a period of 15 seconds* The first one was hovering in the west, three tra- 
veled very swiftly over the base on a west to east heading, and the fifth light 
came over the base from the west, made a turn, and went back to the west. All 
of the lights appeared to be much brighter than a star and amber-red in color 
and there was no sound* No aircral’t were in the area* 

A balloon had been launched prior to the sighting and could account for the 
hoveling light* It is possible that tho three fast-moving lights wdi i luataors, 
although to see tliree moteors all traveling tho same direction only yc-conds 
apart is doubtful. Tho fifth light that was observed is the one that makes tho 
sighting interesting, no meteor cooiea in, makos a 1?>0° turn, and departs* 

>) On li* July 155S at SOlg EST two Pan Aiiiorlcaii pilots flying on a fieading 
of 60° noar Noii’olk, Virginia, observed eight oblccty Chosape ako Day near 





7/1) en t]io air- 


Old Point Comfort, Virgi'nlo. Tho DC-4 aircraft was nt P?,000'. 

craft we.3 about JX) to S?5 irtilos but on tho NE log of tho Norfolk beam, six 
objects in trail wore observed- below and coming toward tho DC-4- ^Vhon they 
roach a point under and slightly below the aircraft, thoy appeared to roll 
on edge and without any radius of turn, shoot off on a heading of about 270° 
rolling back into a flat position. Immodlately after the change in direction 
the formation was joined by two other objects, 

71/hen first soon the objects were glowing on the top side with an intense 
amber-red light, many times more brilliant than the lights of the city belovr, 
they resembled a glowing red hot coal. They appeared circular. As they ap- 
proached the DO-4 they appeared to decelerate just before they changed direction 
During their approach they held a good foimatlon but just before the turn, they 
appeared to tend to overrun tho leader. With the deceleration the glow seemed 
to dim. Immediately after turning and flattening out, the glow disappeared 
entirely. They reappeared at once, glowing brilliantly again. As the began 
to climb, the lights went out one by one. 

They were in view long enough for the pilot to get out of tho left seat 
after he first observed the objects, cross the cockpit, pick them up just as 
they completed their turn and watch them disappear. It was estimated that this 
was between 10 and 20 seconds. 

The only "clue” as to a possible identification of the objects is a part 
of the initial report that stated that there were five jet aircraft In the 
vicinity of Langley AFB, Va., at the tlaie of the sighting. (Note: The incident 

took place about 10 miles NE of Langley AFB. ) Efforts to obtain more data on 
these Jets were unsuccessful. 

Since aircraft were in tho area it is possible that they were observed. 

The in-trall formation could have been a "rat race" although doing this in jet. 


at night, bn3o-,v 8,000*. v n 'Jj lTicult to bcll'jve, TliPi aijnoab Instantaneous 
turn could havo boon nora'* typo 6f an illusion. Tlio ditm’ nlshi nr Urht could 

have boon tho Jota pullinip: off powor boforo tho tui*n. Tliis again is a doubt-- 
fxtl point sancG thore is no data avallabla on tho appearanco of tho tailpipe 
of a Jet head-on from above. 

Since thore were Jet aircraft in tho area, it is possible that the two 
Pan American pilots saw these Jets, 'niereforo, we have written ttiis olT as 

"possibly aircraft". 



In concluding this briefing, it can again be stated that in none of tho 

reports so far received are there any indications that tho reported objects 

are a direct threat to the United States, nor is there any proof that any of 

the reports received have been reports of ai^ radically new unknown material 

object. We admit we cannot explain every report, but we believe we know enough 

about the unknowns to say they are not anything to invoke undue speculation. 

The project will bo continued. Even if a system for the fool-proof explan- 

■ ^ ^ ^ ma m m- ■«# ■* ur ^ m- -p rv 


out of this problem of "flWng saucers" Is 

atlon of every sighting is developed, it vdll coni \ nuo because 

('t* ** tit* cyW c^t "V^ 

Tr hftii m r> Y h n pp nn in the^ fyitwe^ - 

The one threat that could come out of this problero of "fifing 

tt* ^ .-t , 

Q ^irrl f j irni n" i^rn . So|&e people take an exceedingly "dim view" of such 


reports and use .no logic trying to explain thorn. We do not want to clutter 


communicalLons channels with worthless reports. If you can logically explain 
a report, fine, thore/ia no need to waste your time and effort forwarding it. 


All we ask Is that you do use logic in writing off a report as a "flying saucer" >—*''''*'1'^'^ 

— — — — ^ ^ — 

But, if you believe you have a report that merits the attention of Hq USAF, it 

should be a complete r«pei*t. The only way we will continue to learri more about 

reports of unidentified flying objects is to receive and analyze accurate de- 

tailed reports. 


R E 




^ 4 



This briefing has been prepared specially for Air Defense C oininand unit s. 

Its purpose is to present all aspects of Project Blue Book so ADC personnel 
will have a better understanding of the goals of the project, bo able to 
more accurately evaluate reports of unidentified flying objects, and increase 


the quality of those reports that are forwarded, , 

A OTpy of this briefing will be given to each ADC unit and should bo v 
given wide distribution, 


As you have been told, this briefing is about Unidentified flying 0b> 

Jects or "flying saucers" If you insist. We don't like the name "flying sau- 
cars" and only rarely use it because it seems to represent wierd stories, 
hoaxes, etc., sort of a joke# 

We don't take "flying saucers" too ser ious ly either, but we do take the 
problem of Unidentified Flying Objects seriously. The definition of an Uni- 
dentified Flying Object Is ary airborne object that by performance, a^rodyna- 
mlo characteristics or unusual features does not conform to any presently 
known type of aircraft or missile, or which cannot be identified as a known 



object or phenoiaenon. 

The mission of the Air Defense Command is such that you are in a position 
to be recipien ts of the best reports of Unidentified Flying Objects, For that 
reason this briefing is being presented today. Throe main points will be co- 
vered in this briefing, 

a. The general aspects of Project Blue Book to clear up any miscon- 
ceptions that anyone may have. 









Copt, lK3At* 
: 21 

fr " r- • n ^ 

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FflOM! {Originator) 



TO: CG Alll * CO^S^A^iu hlTi AFD GOu) 












r~l YES 

□ NO 





|>OWNGRADEl> AT v ■ .RV AtS. 

^ pECLASSiFlKi - ^LAUa. 


Eef«ronao tolophono oalX £!ror.t ^^dmwoici to Copt i-iiippalt on Z. 

« i^poaod 

t>ur to brief your forces sivi dlvlclono h&s boon poot>onMl and is tontatively 

start in late A>(inuary or early robruory » i‘’oatnonenont 


due to tine bclni' tA^en un Ly ijectinfT» witii fuiu fire >arin{* data for CXn« vlA baa 

tsado m-<rvey of ocxse of tlio sijcrV^tinf'o In 

ATXG t'ile and has arreu^ed for a panel 

of several top U,3, soientlstc to rcTlew t^ian, nXwia ere not ooiipletel^' 

rixn, tills neetlnr is tentatiraly oobedulad to teu-J* p^Lace in early AJunuar^* -'lA'e 
Interest Ir Jr’>n stentiooini. of ro or to aicdlar to present ro-orts of uiioontifiod 
flying objeeta bolnp used as poycivoloniesl warfare arv> to oid oonfuoion in possii^le 
attee.:* Thoy Ijolluv© a cyatoiR I'or ra'^idly &ortl;ar ouv Vulse ru ortc or ro’xjrta of 

known objects and phononena should 

•stablisbec, lAafareneci briefing; tour is be' 

riven hlrh priority ad you will be notiriad ae soon as it can be star tad 

planned Itinoriuy* 




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b. How reports can be evaluated in the units, 

c. How to increase the quality of reports that are f onvardc;. t , 
Security Classiflcatioa 

Pirst of all I would like to tell you about the security of Uils project. 
The majority of the Infonnatlon is currently being carried as Restricted, This 
ie merely to protect the names of the people who have given us reports, it is 
not any attempt to cover up any information that we have* Hie roqulrod secu- 
rity classification for ad/uittanca to this briefing is Secret, however. The 
reason for this is that in some instances we may gat into a discussion of 

classified equipment^ classified locations, or classified projects during the 
question and answer period that follows this briefing, VRien the project was 
first started, it was classified as Top Secret, This is probably Che reason 
for tlie rumors that the Air Force has Top Secret infonnatlon on this subject} 

It does not. The only reason for the original classification was that when 
the project first started the people on the project did not know what thoy were 
dealing with and, therefore, unknowingly put on this high classification* 

We release all infonnatlon to the press that they ask for, except the names 
of persons Involved in the sighting, methods used to obtain informatiuii when 
this Involves intelligence methods and anything else such as locations of railur 
sites, types of radar sets, performance of aircraft, etc., that iu>(y Lu classified 

The Air Technical Intelligence Center 

Uany people are not familiar with the Air Technical Intelligence Center. 
The Air Tochnlcal Intelligence Center was at one time part of Mr fatorlol Com- 
mand, however, in mid 195? the command was changed and it is now a field actl v- 

ity tho Directorate of Intelliganco, Headquarters Air Force. Our clilof, 

Brigadier QOiieral Oarland, is directly reaponslblu to Majox’ Gonoral Sranford, 

the Director of Intolligonca, Headquartei’s USAF, The prime function of tlio Air 


Technical Intelligence Center is not to investigato ’’fljlng saucer" reports. 

it is charged with the prevention of teclino logical surprise by a foi'eign coun- 

try* This means that all enemy aircraft, guided missiles, etc., and any equip- 

ment related to these articles, is studied at the Air Technical Intelligence 

li »nJL - *4 


ATIC "gets into the act" not In an &tt>enipt to protect the United States 

that is the function of ADC* Our function is to tell yon what you're protect- 

ing against* If Russia, for example, flew some totally unheard of new type 

of aircraft across the California coast, you would go up to intercept then ATIC 

would begin a stu^y to tell you what you had intercepted, so that if you run 

into this aircraft again you'll know more about it* To come more to the ix)int 

let's use any Unidentified Flying Object* Say, for example, one of your radars 

picks up a target traveling 1500 mph, fighters are scrambled, vectored into 

the target, they see a light and chase It* If they don't intercept the light 

and identify it, it is unknown* ADC has accomplished their mission by attempt- 

ing an intercept. It is now the mission of the Intelligence officer to gather 

all the facts on the incident and forward them to ATIC to be studied. If In 

collecting the facts the intelllgence^f fleer i^ntifles the reported object, 
fine, it is no longer an unidentified obSactland we are not Interested. How- 

ever, if he is not able to identify th^' reported object, a complete report 

shall be fomarded. It may be tha^^ the radan picked up some typo of wu.M.hor 

effect and vectored the alrcraiM; toY/ard it. About that time, tho pilots saw 

an exceptionally bright star and gave chase* It has happened more than once 

If we knev; that every. /"light" that couldn't be intercepted was a star there 

wouldn't be any necessity for* this project, but unfortunately that is not true 

If the light hadn't been a star, we would very vfoll want, evory 

crap of inf 01 

matlon v/tv could get and, as far as anyone knew, until the report was investigated 


it was not a cojnblnation of a freak radar return and a star* ATIC's mission 
is not quite finished ^.lth an explanation. Vte'd like to know enough about the 
apxjearanoe of some of the more frequent objects that are reported* so if a real 
article even appears it can be immediately recognized. If the 'Vhlstle should 
over blo'.v" and someone sees two streaks of fire in tne sky, wnich one is a slow- 
moving meteor and which one is a ram- jet powered ndsslle? Possibly we can 
learn enough from your reports to be able to definitely point out the dilferonce. 
History of the Project 

To give you a brief history of this project, it started in 19U7* when on 
2U June 19^7 a lir. Kennoth Arnold sighted several disc-like objects near Vt» 
Halrder in the state of Washington. From that time until August 19U9> 375 re~ 
ports were collected and analyzed. In August & report was written on these 

379 incidents and it was concluded that all sightings were due tot 

Uass hysteria or war nerves. 

Hoaxes or persons seeking publicity. 

■3. Psych opathloglcal persons. 

A 111 sinterpr station of known objects. 

These conclusions have been given a groat deal of study and it Is now con- 
cluded' that the vast majority of the reports received are not due to hysteria^ 
war nerves, hoaxes, publicity seekers, psychopathlogioal persons, etc., but they 
are reports made by persons who have definitely seen something that they than- 
selves could not explain at the time of the sighting and have very sincerely 
made their report to Uie Air Force. This does not mean that these reports could 
not have been misinterpretations of knovni objects, as not all of us are familiar 
with the many different ways known objects can appear under various conditions. 

In the Suimiier of 1951 tho project was reViev/ed at the reciuos t of Headouartg rs 
USAF and Project Blue hook was established- Betvireen 19^9 and 1^1 the project had 

i^as establisl: 




not been dropped, but It was being carried on a Icfw priority basis. The reason 
for the renewed interest in the project was that between 1949 and 1951 very 
little publicity had been given this subject, however, reports continued to come 
in. Those reports were mainly from military personnel, and could be classed as 
good reports. I would like to stop here a minute and e^qplsln what we moan by 
a good report. To us, a good report is one in wlilch several people viore Involvt^d 
and the motives of these people in making the report cannot be questioned. They 
have made comparatively careful observations and have reported everything that 
they observed. Very few. If anyi of the reports in ATIC files could be cias;jt/d 
as an excellent report, since everyone is familiar with the frailties of human 
powers of observation and with the necessity for obtaining readings by instru- 

ments to get exact calculations. 

After reorganization of the project in the summer of 1951* reports contin- 
ued to come in at the rate of about ten a month. In the spring of 1952 there 
was an increase in the number of reports and they hit a peak of 70 per day in 
July 1952. At the present time they have dropped off to about five a woek. 
There is no doubt that the emphasis placed on this subject by the press caused 
this big up-sweep in reports. 

Current Situation 

It can be stated now that as far as the current situat ion ia concer ned, 
there are no Indlcatlona ttiat the reported objects are a direct threat to the 

United States nor is there any proof that the reported objects are any foreign 

body over the United States or, as far as we know, the rest of the world. This 
always brings up the question of apace travel. We have gone Into Uils with 

many people and it is the opinion of most sclentlaih or people that should k:iow 
that it is not impossible for some other planet to be inhabltod and for this 
playlet to send beings down to the earth. However, there ia no, and I want 

' 5 


nnphnsl7o .nnd repo-it. the word "No”, evidonco of this in anj' report the Air Force 

hi'tr; rocoived. I rfonld lll^e to gc^back over that once more tho sake of 

/' / " / ^ ^ 

rocprH, We have no oviddnce in any of owt reports that the 'earth Is being 

¥/ / — ’ ' ' ' / / 

vi^i t nd by any^ people /^r bai*»s frcwn outer space* 


We hive »rrived at tho conclusion that those reported objects are no dire ct 
threat to the TJnlted States for several different reasons* One, wo have never 
picked up any "hardware"* By that wo moan any pieces, parts, whole articles, 
or anything that would indicate an unknown material or object* We have received 
many pieces of material to be analyzed but in every case there was no doubt as 
to what this material was* 


We have photographs of some unusual things, but in all of those that show 

any amount of detail, there Is a varying amount of doubt as to their authenticity 
Still photographs are very easy to fake, without retouching tho negative* Our 
files contain many photos that were submitted in good faith* Some have turned 
out to be flaws in the negative, light flares or photos of some relatively rare 
known natural phenomena* We have some that canncit be readily explained since 

they are merely "blobs" of light and could be various things* None of the photos 
on file that cannot be explained show any detail in the object or are cause for 
any undue speculation* 
otatlstlcal Study 

We have made a statletloal study of the data that we have collected in order 

to attempt to determine whether or not there is any common pattern in tho sight-* 
ings but we have had no success In finding any such pattern* Tho statistical 
studi' made by AUC was made on cross-index cards with 16 items, such as a re- 
ported shape, a reported direction, color, etc., being cross-indexed in an at- 
tctnpt to find a pattern, but we found none* Tn order to make a moie detailed 

study^ and elnce It ia very dirricult to handle 

reports on cross-index 

cards> an IBU study is now being irade* In thi 
will' be placed on b^e IBM card 
pattemi should be/apparent* 



will obtain will possibly help 
A Few Statistics 

ure planning 

Two points that are of Interest but are not in themselves greatly slgnlfl 

cant are plots of the distribution of our unlcnown sightings and a plot of the 

frequency of reports. A definition of the term "unknown" will be given later 

(Slide of Location of Unknovms) 

Tou will notice that the unknown reports do teixl to cluster around critical 

areas in the United States. One explanation might be that the people in those 

areas are aware of the fact that they are in a critical area and are more aware 

of uiiuauai things 

(Slide on Frequency of Reports) 

A plot of the frequency of reports shows a series of peaks in July of each 

We cannot aocount for this. Some people have offered the explanation 

that there is better weather in Julyj more clear skies 

We have checked this 

and there seems to be no correlation: other months also have cleai* skies. The 

fact that July nights are warmer and more people are outdoors has also been ad 

vanced> this doesn't appear to have any beai'lng on the problem either 

You might be interested In a breakdown of our ropurts for 195?« in break' 

ing down these reports^ we use several degrees of certainty under each category. 

We'll take balloons « for example. We wl].l classify thorn as a known balloon^ a 

probable balloonj or a possible balloon. A known balloon moans that wo were 

definitely able bo correlate the facta of the sighting with the data on a balloon 

track and there la no doubt that the object was a balloon. Probably a balloon