Selected quotations about
that appear in
UFOs and the National Security State
Before we could do any more, the Army, after conferring with [U.S.] officials, ordered the investigation stopped.
—Dr. Paul Santorini, on UFOs over Greece in 1946.
The unidentified craft appeared to take efficient controlled evasive action.
—FBI Memo, describing chase of UFO over the North Sea, 1947.
The reported operating characteristics such as extreme rates of climb, maneuverability (particularly in roll), and action which must be considered evasive when sighted ... lend belief to the possibility that some of the objects are controlled ...
—General Nathan Twining, Head of Air Material Command (AMC), 1947.
I was called one afternoon [in 1948] to come to the Oval Office – the President wanted to see me.... 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 ....
—General Robert B. Landry, Air Force Aide to President Harry S. Truman.
Army intelligence has recently said that the matter of ‘Unidentified Aircraft' or ‘Unidentified Aerial Phenomena,' otherwise known as ‘Flying Discs,' ‘Flying Saucers,' and ‘Balls of Fire,' is considered top secret by intelligence officers of both the Army and the Air Forces.
—1949 FBI memo on UFOs.
Information is desired if this was some new or experimental aircraft or for any explanation whatsoever.
—1949 CIA memo.
From their questions, I could tell they had a good idea of what the saucers are. One officer admitted they did, but he wouldn't say any more.
Commercial pilot, after questioning by intelligence officer, 1950.
[Object] described as flat on top and bottom and appearing from a front view to have round edges and slightly beveled ... No vapor trails or exhaust or visible means of propulsion. Described as traveling at tremendous speed.... Pilot considered by associates to be highly reliable, of mature judgment and a creditable observer.
—Air Force intelligence report, following UFO sighting by F-51 pilot, 1951.
... some propulsion method not in the physics books.
—Scientist who witnessed a UFO in 1952.
For six hours ... there were at least ten unidentifiable objects moving above Washington. They were not ordinary aircraft.
—Senior Air Traffic Controller for the CAA, Harry G. Barnes, 1952.
In view of the wide interest within the Agency ... outside knowledge of Agency interest in Flying Saucers carries the risk of making the problem even more serious in the public mind than it already is.
—CIA memo, 1952
Based on my experience in fighter tactics, it is my opinion that the object was controlled by something having visual contact with us. The power and acceleration were beyond the capability of any known U.S. aircraft.
—F-94 pilot, after encountering a UFO, 1952.
Some military officials are seriously considering the possibility of interplanetary ships.
—FBI memo on UFOs, 1952.
Pilot of helicopters wished to stress fact that object was of a saucer like nature, was stationary at 2000 ft. And would be glad to be called upon to verify any statements and act as witness.
—Emergency Report from Maxwell Air Force Base on air space violation by UFO, 1954.
It was silvery in color, had a bun-shaped top, a flange like two saucers in the middle and a bun underneath, and could not have been far off because it overlapped my windscreen!
—RAF fighter pilot, 1954.
Maximum security exists concerning the subject of UFOs.
CIA Director Allen Dulles, 1955.
I have discussed this matter with the affected agencies of the government, and they are of the opinion that it is not wise to publicize this matter at this time.
Senator Richard Russell, head of Senate Armed Services Committee, regarding his sighting of a UFO during a 1955 trip to the Soviet Union.
What bothers me is what's happening to our aircraft.
—Anonymous Air Force officer, 1955.
Reliable reports indicate there are objects coming into our atmosphere at very high speeds and controlled by thinking intelligences.
—Navy Admiral Delmar Fahrney, public statement, 1957.
The Air Defense Command in Baton Rouge was on the phone, waiting for our report, when we landed there.
—Commercial pilot following a UFO sighting, 1957.
Congressional investigations ... are still being held on the problem of unidentified flying objects and the problem is one in which there is quite a bit of interest.... Since most of the material presented to the Committees is classified, the hearings are never printed.
—Congressman William H. Ayres, 1958
Saucers exist (I saw two). They were intelligently flown or operated (evasive tactics, formation flight, hovering). They were mechanisms, not United States weapons, nor Russian. I presume they are extraterrestrial.
—Lt. Colonel Richard Headrick, radar bombing expert, 1959.
Behind the scenes, high-ranking Air Force officers are soberly concerned about UFOs. But through official secrecy and ridicule, many citizens are led to believe the unknown flying objects are nonsense.
—Former CIA Director, Roscoe Hillenkoetter, public statement, 1960.
[Hamilton AFB] wanted my account of it, word for word.
—UFO witness, after his alleged communication with aliens, 1965.
... reliable, but off the record information from the Pease AFB in Portsmouth, indicates frequent radar blips and fighters are constantly scrambled to pursue these objects.
—Journalist John Fuller, 1965.
I think there may be substance in some of these reports ... I believe the American people are entitled to a more thorough explanation than has been given them by the Air Force to date.
—Congressman Gerald R. Ford, March 1966.
When the team was about ten miles from the landing site, static disrupted radio contact with them. Five to eight minutes later the glow diminished, and the UFO took off. Another UFO was visually sighted and confirmed by radar.
—Classified report by an Air Force Strike Team at Minot AFB, 1966.
My own present opinion, based on two years of careful study, is that UFOs are probably extraterrestrial devices engaged in something that might very tentatively be termed 'surveillance'.
Dr. James McDonald before Congress, 1968.
If 'they' discover you, it is an old but hardly invalid rule of thumb, 'they' are your technological superiors.
National Security Analyst, Lambros Callimahos, 1968.
... nothing has come from the study of UFOs in the past 21 years that has added to scientific knowledge.
—Edward U. Condon, "Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects," 1969.