Thursday, 11 October 2018

UFO Newsletter Article:
“AF Steps Up UFO Debunking”

U.F.O. Investigator, Vol. IV, No. 2, October 1967
(National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, Washington, D.C.)


The whole article:
“The highly-touted objective UFO investigation by the University of Colorado, sponsored by the U.S. Air Force, has brought no change in Air Force debunking practices. It was expected that the Air Force would declare a moratorium and adopt a wait-and-see attitude pending completion of the Colorado study. The actions can only increase public doubt about the outcome of the Air Force sponsored study which is, in effect, being pre-judged by the sponsor.

In the July/August issue of The Airman, ‘OfficiaI Magazine of the U.S. Air Force,’ Major George W. Ogles, Headquarters, USAF, dredged up all the standard debunking statements, including a hackneyed photograph of the Avrocar which has been used periodically to imply that UFOs might be U.S. secret craft. (In reality, the Avrocar project was unsuccessful and was scrapped years ago). Major Ogles incorrectly reported that there are no unexplained radar UFO sightings. When NICAP produced an Air Force letter admitting that a December 6, 1952, radar sighting was classified as unexplained, this case appeared in the next installment of the article as an exception to the rule. There are, of course hundreds of unexplained radar sightings. When these are cited to the Air Force, spokesmen either deny any knowledge of the cases or attribute them to errors by the radar operators.

In mid-August, the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) issued the misleading statement that no UFOs had been detected by their tracking system over the United States or Canada (NORAD computers automatically screen out radar targets such as UFOs which do not conform to known aircraft characteristics, because NORAD’s main mission is to detect possible enemy aircraft attacking the country). NORAD said that 95% of all sightings had been tracked down to the conventional source, an exaggeration which needs no further comment. Why the statement emanated from NORAD instead of Headquarters USAF as official regulations require is not known (AF Regulation 80-17; Section B, paragraph 4).

The widely disseminated annual Project Blue Book ‘fact sheet’,
1 March 1967, a standard hand-out to the press and the public, makes no mention whatsoever of the Colorado Project. Instead, Project Blue Book continues as before the Colorado contract to investigate sightings independently and to grind out counter-to-fact ‘explanations’ in many cases.

A sudden AF reversal after years of debunking was not expected. But if the Colorado study is objective, top Air Force officials should realize that their previous findings may have to be overhauled. They therefore support the neutrality and objectivity of the Colorado Project. Instead, the stepped-up debunking practices cause many people to suspect that the Air Force thinks it knows what Colorado’s conclusions will be. Even if the Project were nothing but a ‘hired’ whitewash job, however, it would seem wiser on the part of the Air Force to pretend objectivity until the conclusion is made public rather than to cast doubt in advance. NICAP does not believe that the Colorado Program will turn out to be a whitewash, but we do object strenuously to the use of such pressures by the Air Force to encourage a negative finding.”

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