Explanation of nicap and its policies

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INTRODUCTION. Page i - iii


Explanation of NICAP and its policies.

Statement by Board of Governors.


Sample cases showing general features of UFO reports.


Cases indicating intelligence: pacing of vehicles, reaction to stimuli, formation flights.


Sightings by Air Force pilots, navigators, other officers and men.


Reports of other military personnel.


Observations by airline, military and private pilots.


Observations by professional scientists and engineers, including astronomers and aeronautical engineers.


Sightings by police officers, civil defense and ground observer corps, cross-section of citizens' reports.


Electro-magnetic effects. Radar cases. Photographic evidence. Physical and Physiological effects. Sound. Angel's Hair.


Background of secrecy. Official regulations. History and analysis of the official UFO investigation.


A survey of reports from other countries, attitudes of foreign governments, and world-wide interest in UFOs.


Chronological listing of sightings, statements and events.


Statistics and analyses of consistent physical appearance, maneuvers, flight characteristics, recurrent concentrations.


Survey of Congressional interest in UFOs.


Discussion of the implications of UFOs, and what is needed in the way of a scientific investigation.


A synthesis is presented of data concerning Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) reported during the past 20 years through governmental, press and private channels. The serious evidence is clarified and analyzed. The data are reported by categories of specially trained observers and studied by patterns of appearance, performance and periodic recurrence.

During the process of selecting the most reliable and significant reports, emphasis was placed on the qualifications of the observer and on cases involving two or more observers. This resulted in 746 reports being selected, after consideration of over 5000 signed reports and many hundreds of reports from newspapers and other publications.

An overall look is taken at the UFO problem: The historical development of the mystery, Congressional attitudes and activity, consideration of the problems and dangers involved, and discussion of what is needed in the way of organized scientific research.

Evidence is presented in support of the hypothesis that UFOs are under intelligent control, making plausible the notion that some of them might be of extraterrestrial origin.


In an article for Yale Scientific magazine, April 1963, Dr. J. Allen Hynek (Chief scientific consultant to the Air Force on UFO’s) said: "there are more reports per year now than there were in the early years of the 'flying saucer era'... [UFO reports] have been coming to the Air Force at the rate of better than one a day over the past fifteen years. - The daily press no longer carries such reports, except perhaps as fillers, because monotonously repeated items do not constitute news. But it is just this repetition that is of potential scientific interest." Dr. Hynek added that the intelligence of the UFO witnesses has been "at least average," often "decidedly above average," and sometimes "embarrassingly above average."

There are basically two explanations for the consistent, world wide reporting of UFOs every year: (1) widespread and presently unaccountable delusion on a scale so vast that it should be, in itself, a matter of urgent scientific study; (2) people are seeing maneuvering, apparently controlled objects in the atmosphere.

Of the two hypotheses, the second appears to be more reasonable and it is solidly grounded in empirical observations. It is also borne out, in enough cases to warrant far more scientific investigation, by instruments. [Section VIII]. However, the basic problem is to determine as conclusively as possible which hypothesis is correct. For obvious reasons, verification of the second hypothesis could be one of the most important discoveries of all time.

This report is an attempt to clarify the reliable evidence of UFOs, and to remove the fog of mysticism and crackpotism which has helped to obscure the real issues. These issues are (1) the factual evidence for UFOs and its interpretation; (2) official secrecy and its effect on efforts to arrive at truth.

Under no conditions is this report, or any part of it, to be considered an endorsement, acceptance or other recognition of any claims and beliefs of a philosophical, religious or spiritual nature. Diverse beliefs in these areas are being expounded by many cults, including individuals who use the UFO subject for the purpose of self-enrichment at the expense of an ill-informed public.

This report presents documented facts on the physical aspects of UFOs, which we believe should be investigated scientifically. If our hypotheses are correct they stand independently of, and do not prove, unsubstantiated tales of rides in "flying saucers." Our investigations have found no evidence to support these claims, but considerable evidence of fraud. This does not mean that we believe a meeting with space men is impossible. It merely means that the public is being misled by some unscrupulous individuals making these claims, whose false stories are beclouding serious evidence.

NICAP and its Policies

NICAP is a non-profit organization incorporated in the District of Columbia (1956). Our main goals and purposes are scientific investigation and research of reported unidentified flying objects, and encouragement of full reporting to the public by responsible authorities of all information which the government has accumulated on this subject. The U.S. Air Force is charged with the official investigation of UFOs, but has practiced an intolerable degree of secrecy keeping the public in the dark about the amount and possible significance of UFO evidence. [Section IX]. Therefore, we have urged Congressional hearings to help clarify the evidence and encourage a full scientific review, with the public being kept fully informed.

NICAP policy is set by a Board of Governors and carried out by the executive staff. Investigations are carried out by Subcommittees (field units) of specially trained and equipped personnel. Affiliates in four states also assist with investigations, and public relations work. Panels of Special Advisers assist with evaluations of data. The executive staffs are the only salaried employees.

NICAP is supported by membership fees and donations. (Associate Membership is $5.00, covering six issues of the membership bulletin, The UFO Investigator, published approximately bimonthly). Members assist the investigation, on their own in initiative, by submitting newspaper clippings, first-hand reports, and other leads to information. The current membership is approximately 5000, covering all 50 states and about 25 foreign countries. A Panel of Foreign Advisers (including lawyers, engineers, and other professionals) aids in data gathering on a world-wide basis.

NICAP has a secondary interest in all aerial phenomena, and has contributed to scientific studies of meteors and ice-falls. Data has been furnished to the American Meteor Society, various college and university departments, individual scientists, and to many hundreds of students at all levels. A recently formed NICAP Youth Council is encouraging young people to pursue a scientific interest in UFOs, aerial phenomena, and space travel.

Various beliefs and attitudes have been attributed to NICAP erroneously by some of our opponents in the past several years: That we are engaged in a vendetta against the Air Force for purposes of sensationalism; that we accuse the Air Force of being involved in a vast conspiracy (sometimes, it is said, on an international scale) to suppress from the public proof of the reality of extraterrestrial visitations, etc. These are irresponsible distortions of our views.

We are presenting serious, documented facts as evidence of an important phenomenon, the reality of which is denied by the Air Force. We are dissenting from the official (Air Force) position.

A phrase coined by the NICAP Director--"The Silence Group"-- has been misused by people on both sides of the issue. The term was used to apply to one faction within the Air Force which favors suppression of UFO information from the public. This view was supported in a book by Capt. Edward J. Ruppelt, chief of the Air Force UFO project, who similarly described a continuing struggle between two factions within the Air Force-one of which favored complete secrecy. The question of whether the Air Force is suppressing information about UFOs does not rest on a conspiratorial view of history. [Section IX]

We have no quarrel with the Air Force and its important mission of national defense. Our criticisms are directed entirely at its allegedly scientific investigation of UFOs and public information policies on the same subject. If the United States Marine Corps were responsible for the UFO investigation, and handled it in the same manner, we would criticize its policies on the subject for the very same reasons.

It is claimed that the reality of UFOs has been disproved, but we are asked to accept this conclusion on authority alone without access to the data which would allow independent evaluation by the scientific community. We are asked to accept this conclusion in the face of evidence, such as contained in this report, which has often been "explained" in strange ways. [Section IX].

Merely on the basis of examining the explanations advanced by the Air Force for specific cases, one can find substantial reason to question the scientific adequacy of the official investigation. This has nothing to do with the motivation of the investigators, who no doubt are perfectly honest and sincere.


At the heart of the matter is the effect of an authoritarian military system on scientific investigation. Science requires free and open discourse among scientists, individual initiative, and an atmosphere of inquiry not restricted by arbitrary regulations.

Virtually all of the Air Force analyses have been conducted in secrecy, affording the scientific community as a whole no opportunity to cross-check and review the methods and reasoning used. Only end results have been released to the public, and often (without explanation) these have been counter-to-fact.

Statement by NICAP Board of Governors

"Although a large percentage of reported UFOs can be explained in terms of conventional objects and events, the residual unexplained cases constitute a separate and important problem. (The word "UFO" hereafter refers to the residual cases). These UFOs have proved to be a consistent phenomenon, with significant new reports made each year. A large number of the reports come from reputable and competent observers, honest and intelligent citizens.

"Given the evidence in this report, it is a reasonable hypothesis that the unexplained UFOs are:

* real physical objects, rather than the result of imagination, hallucination, illusion or delusion;

* artificial, rather than purely natural, such as meteorological and astronomical phenomena;

* Under the control (piloted or remote) of living beings.

"To date serious scientific attention to UFOs has been limited by several factors including:

* the Air Force practice of artificially reducing the significance of the data through the use of counter-to-fact explanations of sightings and issuance of misleading statistics;

* the Air Force practice of implying, through its public relations program, that all available information has been disseminated and there is no need for further investigation;

* The lack of governmental recognition, through the Congress or the Executive Branch that a scientific problem exists which ought to be thoroughly probed.

"We believe the following steps should be taken to rectify an unsatisfactory situation:

(1) The evidence in Air Force files (after deletion of legitimate security information such as data concerning the capabilities of radar) should be made freely available to any interested citizens.

(2) There should be a Congressional inquiry into the Air Force's Project Blue Book to establish, a. the amount and kind of UFO information in the files, and whether all significant non-security data has been made public; b. the scientific adequacy of the investigation (whether there has been a consistently objective, scientific study of the evidence, or whether it has been erratic and influenced negatively by high-level policy decisions, lack of funds, or other factors).

"The foremost question which remains is: What are the UFOs? The importance of these objects, if the above hypothesis is correct, is readily apparent. In order to settle this question, we strongly recommend that a much larger scale and more thorough scientific investigation be undertaken."

Joining in these conclusions are NICAP Board Members:

Rev. Albert H. Baller, Congregational Minister, Clinton, Mass.
Col. J. Bryan III, USAF (Ret.), Writer, Richmond, Va.
Mr. Frank Edwards, WTTV, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Col. Robert B. Emerson, USAR, Research Chemist, Baton Rouge, La.
Mr. Dewey J. Fournet, former Major, USAF, Baton Rouge, La.
Rear Adm. H. B. Knowles, USN (Ret.), Eliot, Maine.
Prof. Charles A. Maney, Department of Physics, Defiance College, Ohio.

In a separate statement, Dr. Charles P. Olivier (President of the American Meteor Society), Narberth, Pa., reiterated his reasons for serving on the Board of Governors. Dr. Olivier does not take a position about the nature of UFOs, and his prime reason for supporting NICAP is to help dispel secrecy and encourage scientific investigation of the phenomenon:

"In serving as a NICAP Board Member, my only purpose is to help in forcing further scientific investigation. UFOs have not been fully studied scientifically due to suppression of pertinent data and subjecting reports of trained and reputable people to ridicule. It is possible UFOs might eventually have serious effects upon our planet and its inhabitants, either for good or ill. I have no personal theory to advance or refute. In view of the importance of the subject, no matter what the outcome, I would be glad to see a very full inquiry, and the old secrecy fully removed. What I want is the whole truth brought out. I do not know what it is."

In preparing this report, it has been our aim to establish the facts to the best of our ability, and to present them for study. In so doing, we hope to encourage a more careful, detached examination of detailed specific cases. It will be found that some explanations which have been advanced for specific cases have been superficial, often glossing over details which contradict the explanation. Detailed interpretation of specific cases is difficult, and often depends on one or two facts. For anyone wishing to examine
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