of a hoax
Above 1654 fourth edition of "Hocus Pocus Junior: The Anatomy of Legerdemain". Originally printed in 1634, it was the first illustrated book in the English language devoted entirely to magic and conjuring.
SOMETIME IN THE 18th century the word hoax came into the common English vernacular.
Originally, its meaning was simply "to cheat". Over the next two centuries, popular usage refined the word's meaning into its dictionary definition of today...
1. An act intended to deceive or trick.
But the etymological origins of the word stretch back more than three centuries...
2. Something that has been established or accepted by fraudulent means.
I will speak of one man ... that went about in King James his time ... who called himself, the Kings Majesties most excellent Hocus Pocus, and so was called, because that at the playing of every Trick, he used to say, Hocus pocus, tontus tabantus, vade celeriter jubeo, a dark composure of words, to blinde the eyes of the beholders, to make his Trick pass the more currantly without discovery.
-- Thomas Ady, A Candle in the Dark, 1655
And it was from the word hocus that the word hoax first came to be coined -- for even from the beginning, the most convincing of hoaxes have always been the domain of practiced conjurers...
...but much more on that, later.
First pages of True Magazine's September, 1952, sixteen-thousand word investigation of Frank Scully, Silas Newton, and Leo GeBauer, the three principals involved in Scully's best-selling book "Behind the Flying Saucers". Scully's 1950 book purported to reveal to the public for the first time the inside story on crashed disks containing three-foot tall aliens, whose bodies and craft were preserved and stored by the government.
THERE HAVE BEEN MANY famous hoaxes over time -- some of the earliest and best-known being the Cardiff Giant, the Piltdown Man, the Cottingley Fairy photos, and the Great Moon Hoax of 1835. But in the middle years of the twentieth century no ground proved more fertile than those based on the emerging phenomenon of flying saucers reported zipping through American skies.
Some of those hoaxes took the form of practical jokes, as in a July 1947 incident in Twin Falls, Idaho, wherein four teenagers assembled "parts of an old phonograph, burned out radio tubes and other discarded electrical parts" into the form of a flying saucer, and planted it in a neighbor's yard. Police were called, and then the FBI and Army Intelligence came to investigate, before it was all revealed to be a prank.
Other hoaxes took the form of photographs, as in the famous hubcap-tossed-over-a-canyon snapshot of a flying saucer taken by Guy Marquand in 1951 -- a picture which is still sometimes presented as though it were legitimate. And not content with mere faked photos, other hoaxes even offered physical evidence -- as in the case of the 28-year old barber from Georgia, who in 1953 shaved a dead monkey and claimed it as a "little man" from a flying saucer.
Still, by far the most prominent of the flying saucer hoaxes of the time were perpetrated in print. Among those were books by "contactees", such as those by Orfeo Angelucci, George Van Tassel, and George Adamski.
But the grand-daddy of them all would be a seemingly scientific 1950 tome by Variety columnist Frank Scully, called Behind the Flying Saucers.
This is that story.
Above: Story on Kenneth Arnold sighting in the June 26, 1947, edition of the San Antonio, Texas, Light.
ON JUNE 24, 1947, private pilot Kenneth Arnold sighted what a news story termed "nine saucer-like aircraft flying in formation" over Mt. Rainier. That particular news story, in the Pendleton, Oregon, East Oregonian, was the first-ever public account of Arnold's experience. Published June 25, 1947, it became the source for newswire reports nationwide. The following day, June 26, 1947, the San Antonio, Texas, Light headlined the story Men From Mars? Sky Whizzer Seen!
It had taken but a single day for the first public suggestion of interplanetary vehicles aloft in the skies to make its way into public discourse.
That headline, and subsequent brief references in other newspapers, were first intended in a light-hearted vein. But as more reports flowed in, the suggestion gained some currency -- albeit as just one of a number of possibilities. From the July 1, 1947 edition of the Twin Falls, Idaho, Times News...
For as many people as have seen the "discs" there have been as many "logical" explanations -- ranging from meteorites, men from Mars, new Russian bombs, newly-designed navy planes and the end of the world.
As days passed, the most prevalent theories of those early days were overwhelmingly that the flying discs -- if in fact they existed -- were either American or Soviet secret aircraft. But there were still occasional inferences otherwise. From the July 6, 1947 edition of the Portland, Oregon, Oregonian...
Mars Signals Now Suggested
DETROIT. July 5 (INS) -- A Detroit meteorologist theorized Saturday that the mysterious flying discs may be signals from Mars.
"It's not too far fetched," he insisted. "For a long time people have speculated on life on Mars, so why should not it be as logical for Mars to try to contact earth as for earth to try to contact Mars?"
He added: "I admit it's an unusual theory, but have you got a better one?"
And though the name of the "meteorologist" was not included in the article, others were willing to go on the record with a similar view. From the July 7, 1947 edition of the Elyria, Ohio, Chronicle-Telegram...
Says "Saucers" Are Nothing To Get Up In The Air About
CHICAGO -- R.L. Farnsworth said today the "flying saucers" reportedly racing through U.S. skies aren't anything to get up in the air about.
"People have been seeing things in the sky for years," he said. Farnsworth said he could speak as somewhat of an authority on the spots people are seeing before their eyes in skies from coast to coast.
He's a member of the Fortean Society, a club for experts on the unusual things -- on land and in the air -- people have seen and thought they have seen through the centuries. The club was founded in honor of Charles Fort, a diligent man who devoted his life to collecting four volumes of odd happenings.
"This isn't the first time people have seen legitimate spots in the sky," Farnsworth said. "It happened at least three times in the last century, and plenty of other times, too. Nobody ever found out what any of the objects were."
Farnsworth said he wouldn't be surprised at anything the alleged saucers turned out to be. He's president of the U.S. Rocket Society and is planning a trip to the moon some day.
"Nothing surprises me," he said. "I wouldn't even be surprised if the flying saucers were remote control electronic eyes from Mars."
But even the unflappable Mr. Farnsworth must have raised an eyebrow at the events of the following day.
Above: National newswire photo from July, 1947. The caption in one paper read: "NOT A 'DISC' -- Gen. R.M. Ramey, left, commanding general of the 8th air force, and Col. T.J. Dubose, chief of staff, look over what was identified by Ft. Worth army air field weather officers as a high altitude ray wind weather recording machine and not a 'flying disc.'"
ON JULY 8, 1947, newswires flashed nationwide with an apparently official military announcement. From the Walla Walla, Washington Union-Bulletin...
'Flying Saucer' Is Found in New Mexico
Army Gives No Details Of Mystery
Roswell Air Base Officer Reports Object Found Last Week by Rancher Turned Over to Brass
ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) -- The army air force here Tuesday announced a flying disc had been found on a ranch near Roswell and is in army possession.
Lt Warren Haught, public information officer of the Roswell army air field, announced the find had been made "sometime last week," and had been turned over to the air field through cooperation of the sheriffs office.
"It was inspected at the Roswell army air field and subsequently loaned" by Maj. Jesse A. Marcel, of the 509th bomb group intelligence office at Roswell, "to higher headquarters."
The army gave no other details.
"The many rumors regarding the flying disc became a reality yesterday when the intelligence office of the 509th (atomic) bomb group of the 8th air force, Roswell army air field, was fortunate enough to gain possession of a disc through the cooperation of one of the local ranchers and the sheriffs office of Chaves county.
"The flying object landed on a ranch near Roswell sometime last week. Not having phone facilities the rancher stored the disc until such time as he was able to contact the sheriffs office, who in turn notified Major Jesse A. Marcel of the 509th bomb group intelligence office.
"Action was immediately taken and the disc was picked up at the rancher's home. It was inspected at the Roswell army air field and subsequently loaned by Major Marcel to higher headquarters."
The rancher's name and location of his place were withheld.
George Walsh of radio station KSWS which provided first news of the announcement said only Major Marcel, Col. W.H. Blanchard, commanding officer at Roswell air field, and the rancher had seen the object here.
The original announcement suggested the "flying disc" was intact. But in the same issue of that same publication came a smaller squib on the announcement...
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Brig. Gen. Roger Ramey said Tuesday that a battered object which previously had been described as a flying disc found near Roswell, New Mexico, is being shipped by air to the AAF research center at Wright Field, Ohio.
By the next day the "battered object" became "remnants of a weather observation balloon". From the July 9, 1947 edition of the Olean, New York Times Herald...
Army And Navy Launch Drive On Saucer Rumors
By United Press
Reports of flying saucers whizzing through the sky fell off sharply today, as the army and navy began a concentrated campaign to stop the rumors.
One by one, persons who thought they had their hands on the $3,000 offered for a genuine flying saucer found their hands full of nothing.
Headquarters of the Eighth Army Air Force at Fort Worth, Tex., announced that the wreckage of a tin-foil covered object found on a New Mexico ranch was nothing more than the remnants of a weather observation balloon. AAF headquarters in Washington reportedly delivered a "blistering" rebuke to officers at the Roswell, N.M, base for suggesting that it was a "flying disk."
The excitement ran through this cycle:
Lieutenant Warren Haught, public relations officer at the Roswell base, released a statement in the name of Colonel William Blanchard, base commander. It said that an object described as a "flying disk" was found on the nearby Foster ranch three weeks ago by W.W. Brazel and had been sent to "higher officials" for examination.
Brigadier General Roger B. Ramey, commander of the Eighth Air Force, said at Fort Worth that he believed the object was the "remnant of a weather balloon and a radar reflector," and was "nothing to be excited about." He allowed photographers to take a picture of it.
Lieutenant Haught reportedly told reporters that he had been "shut up by two blistering phone calls from Washington."
Efforts to contact Colonel Blanchard brought the information that "he is now on leave."
Brazel told reporters that he had found weather balloon equipment before, but had seen nothing that resembled his latest find.
Those who saw the object said it had a flowered paper tape around it bearing the initials "D.P."
By the next day the story was all but dead, and by the next week almost completely forgotten -- remaining so even over the coming decades.
And at no time was the idea of recovered bodies of alien pilots -- diminutive or otherwise -- even suggested.
That would take two more years, and an entirely different tale.
December 1, 1949, memo from the United States Air Force 18th District Office of Special Investigations to the head of Air Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio -- home to Project Grudge (predecessor to Project Blue Book), the official Air Force investigatory body into reports of unidentified aerial phenomena.
FOR THE U.S. AIR FORCE, it all began at the end of November, 1949, with a letter it received from the FBI.
The letter to the Air Force had been the result of a telephone call made by movie actor Bruce Cabot -- Faye Wray's other love interest in King Kong -- to the Los Angeles office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Cabot -- who had been a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Forces during the war -- undoubtedly saw it as his patriotic duty to report to the feds that while playing golf at the very exclusive Lakeside Country Club he had overheard an oilman named Cy Newton claim to be in possession of a radio from another world.
The "magnetic radio", according to Newton, had been retrieved from a "flying disc" that had crashed in New Mexico. Nor was that the end of the story -- Newton also claimed there were bodies found at the crash site, and that he had bits of cloth from the bodies as well as metal from the crashed saucer stashed away at home.
The day after receiving the letter from the FBI, it was forwarded by the local Air Force Office of Special Investigations -- otherwise known as "OSI", the Air Force investigative force which had been modeled on the FBI -- to Air Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, home to Project Grudge, the Air Force's investigatory body for "flying saucer" reports (later called Project Blue Book).
Following which -- for a short while -- the file appears to have lain fallow.
Two-page January 16, 1950 memo from the United States Air Force 13th District Office of Special Investigations at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska to the "Director of Special Investigations HQ USAF, Wash., D.C.".
SIX AND ONE-HALF WEEKS later, on January 16, 1950, another memo describing a similar claim was sent out, seemingly unrelated to movie actor Cabot and oilman Newton...
Rudy Fick says Flying saucers [sic, capitalization] from Venus came to earth by accident. Rudy Fick, well known Kansas City auto dealer stopped in Denver 3 weeks ago while returning from Ogden, Utah. At that time he called on the manager of Ford Agency. Their conversation was interrupted by some engineers arriving for a meeting; one of whom was a man named Coulter. Coulter revealed some startling information. He (Coulter) stated he "Crashed the Gate" at a radar station near new Mexico [sic, capitalization] and Arizona borders, and while there he saw 2 of the highly secret "Flying Saucers." Spot report details -- the information contained herein was furnished from article which appeared in the Wyandotte Echo newspaper, Kansas City, Kansas, 6 January 1950. Of the two Flying saucers [sic, capitalization] one was badly damaged and the other almost perfectly intact. They consisted of 2 parts, a cockpit or cabin about 6 feet in diameter. A ring 13 feet across and 2 feet thick surrounded the cabin. The cabin was constructed of metal resembling aluminum, but the actual make of the metal has defied analysis. Coulter had a piece of the metal in his possession and gave it to the Ford man to send to the Dearborne [sic] plant for analysis. This man (Coulter) showed the group, including Fick, a clock or automatic calendar which was taken from one of the Flying Saucers. This clock or automatic calendar consisted of 2 pieces of metal together with some unusual type of metal. On the face of 1 or 2 pieces of this metal there appeared an indentation which rotated around the disk completing a cycle each 28 days. According to the information given Coulter around 50 of these flying saucers have been found in the United States in a period of 2 years. Of these, 40 are in the 7 [sic] US Research Bureau in Los Angeles. Each of the craft had a crew of 2. The bodies in the damaged ship were charred, but the other ship's occupants were in a perfect state of preservation, although dead. All were uniform height of 3 feet; blond, beardless and their teeth were completely free of fillings or cavities. They wore no under garments, but had their bodies taped and were dressed in a sort of wire. A quantity of food in tablet form was found in ship. Mr. Fick assumed that the reason behind the apparent lack of security was that the Government wanted the information spread from unofficial sources until people are more or less familiar with the facts. Mr. Fick feels that the security department of the military fear that the sudden shock of a surprise announcement that interplanitary [sic] travel is possible might cause mass hysteria. Fick is well known locally and has a number of friends at the Kansas City Star. OSI District 13 will interview Fick and will make additional inquiries at the Kansas City Star. Coulter not otherwise identified, but can be reached through Ford agency in Denver. Action: Information copies furnished OSI Districts 14 and 17 for action. The editor of the Kansas City Star stated that while they were aware of this story they did not dare publish it in the paper because it is too fantastic.
Whereas the December 1, 1949, memo about Cabot and Newton had been sent from the Los Angeles-based 18th District OSI to Project Grudge in Dayton, Ohio, this one -- dated January 16, 1950 -- telling of Fick and Coulter had been sent from the Omaha-based 13th District OSI to the "Director of Special Investigations HQ USAF" in Washington, D.C.
And so -- for a while at least -- two separate and distinct investigations would run parallel to each other, 1500 miles apart.
First page of January 20, 1950 "Report of Investigation" from the 13th District Office of Special Investigations at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska.
THE FIRST OF the official investigatory reports from these parallel investigations would come four days later, January 20, 1950, originating from 13th District OSI in Nebraska. After giving a brief introductory overview of the reason for the investigation, the report focused on the OSI Special Agent Lawrence A. Applebee's interview with Rudy Fick...
1. This investigation was initiated at the direction of the District Commander, based on information contained in the Wyandotte Echo, dated 6 January 1950.
2. On 14 January 1950, Mr. RUDY FICK, 1920 McGee Street, Kansas City, Missouri, was interviewed regarding the story appearing in the Wyandotte Echo, 6 January 1950, a weekly newspaper published in Kansas City, Kansas, at 715 Minnesota Avenue, concerning flying saucers and which quoted Mr. FICK. (See Inclosure #1)
Concerning this article, FICK said the information contained in the article was correct in its entirety and was as he received it from Mr. COULTER, otherwise unidentified, at Denver, Colorado, about two weeks prior to the article appearing in the Echo. Mr. FICK went on to say that he gave the information to a man named [Illegible, closest approximation "POSTLETAFT"], otherwise unidentified and unknown to FICK, over the telephone. According to FICK he had no idea that the information would be published. According to FICK, Mr. JACK MURPHY, an engineer at the Ford Plant, Denver, Colorado, knows COULTER and his address, as does the representative of the J. Walter Thompson Advertising Company in Denver. At the time FICK talked to COULTER in Denver, COULTER had showed [sic] him a piece of metal and tiny receiving and transmitting set which he stated he had secured from one of the two "flying saucers" which had crashed near the Arizona-New Mexico border. The metal, FICK stated, was light weight and similar to aluminum. COULTER informed FICK that he had taken the radio set to a radio station with which he is connected in Denver, and that tests there revealed that at 1115 hours each day a broadcast was picked up on the radio. The broadcast was in some strange language, and according to COULTER, sounded like "a Chinaman talking Japanese." FICK further stated that JACK MURPHY was going to take the metal to the Ford Plant for analysis and that he did not hear what the results of this analysis were. FICK could add nothing further to the article appearing in the Wyandotte County Echo. (See copy of this article attached as Inclosure #1.)
As noted at the end of OSI Agent Special Agent Applebee's January 20, 1950 investigative report, the actual January 6, 1950 article published in the Wyandotte, Kansas Echo was transcribed and included with the memo...
"FLYING SAUCERS" FROM VENUS, CAME TO EARTH BY ACCIDENT SAYS RUDY FICK, FORD DEALER
The secret of the "Flying Saucers" is a secret no longer. Two weeks ago, RUDY FICK, well-known Kansas City auto dealer, stopped over in Denver returning from Ogden, Utah. While there, he called on the manager and assistant manager of the Ford agency there. Their conversation was interrupted by a call from two engineers, arranging an immediate meeting. One of these engineers, a man named COULTER, revealed some startling information.
According to the story told by COULTER, he "crashed the gate" at a radar station near the New Mexico and Arizona border after two weeks of arranging. Here he saw two of the highly secret "flying saucers." One of these was badly damaged, while the other was almost perfectly intact. These objects were space ships of an unusual design. They consisted of two parts, a cockpit or cabin about six feet in diameter, and a ring 18 feet across and about two feet thick surrounded this cabin. In flight, the ring revolved at a high rate of speed, while the cabin remained stationary like the center of a gyroscope. The ship has a bearing type tripod landing gear. The cabin was constructed of a metal resembling aluminum, but the actual make-up of the metal has defied analysis. COULTER had a portion of this metal in his possession, and gave it to one of the Ford men with instructions to send it to the Dearborn Ford plant laboratory to see if they could either melt it or analyze it.
Each of the two ships seen by COULTER were occupied by a crew of two. In the badly damaged ship, these bodies were charred so badly that little could be learned from them. The occupants of the other ship, while dead when they were found, were not burned or disfigured, and, when COULTER saw them, were in a perfect state of preservation. Medical reports, according to COULTER, showed that these men were almost identical with earth-dwelling humans, except for a few minor differences. They were of a uniform height of three feet, were uniformly blond, beardless and their teeth were completely free of fillings or cavities.
Strange Cloth and Food
They were dressed in uniform clothing made from blue material unknown on earth, the threads in the clothing seeming to be a sort of wire. The jackets had six buttons, and the trousers were tight-fitting. Their shoes were of a slip-on type. They did not wear undergarments, but had their bodies taped. COULTER said it was a matter of speculation whether this was the customary garb of these people, or whether these were "space suits" or flying suits.
In each ship was a quantity of food in tablet form. One type of the food was in the form of small white tablets, about half the size of Alka-Seltzer tablets. Another type was a small brown cube, which, when immersed in water, swelled to a volume of a about a gallon. Water contained in the ships had a weight twice as great as water on earth.
The ships seemed to be magnetically controlled and powered, as they had no power plant in the ship itself. No armament or exploratory equipment was found in them, and, since they seem to invariably crash near radar installations, it is surmised that they are attracted by radar, or possibly radar waves interfere with their control systems.
In addition to the piece of metal, COULTER showed the group including FICK, a clock or automatic calendar taken from one of the crafts. It consisted of two pieces of metal sandwiching some unusual type of material. On the face of one of these pieces of metal appeared an indentation, which, rotating around the disc, completed a cycle each 28 days, a lunar month.
Fifty Are Found
According to the information given COULTER, there are around fifty of these craft that have been found in the United States in a period of about two years, and forty of these are in the United States Research Bureau in Los Angeles.
COULTER said that the best assumption as to the source of the ships was the planet Venus, for it is the only planet that has an atmosphere in any way similar to ours, and it seems to have magnetic properties that would make it the logical home base of these space ships.
Mr. FICK'S assumption as to the reason behind the apparent lack of security is that the government desires the information to be spread from unofficial sources, until people are more or less familiar with the facts. He feels that the security departments of the military fear that the sudden shock of a surprise announcement of the fact that inter-planetary travel was possible might cause mass hysteria. No cause for alarm seems necessary, however, for, from all indications, the Venusian visitors are quite peaceful, and even unwilling, visitors to our planet.
But OSI Special Agent Applebee's January 20, 1950 investigative report containing his interview with Rudy Fick and the text of the Wyandotte Echo article would not be the only document prepared that particular day.
January 20, 1950 letter from Los Angeles office of the Department of Agriculture to 18th District OSI.
BACK IN MAYWOOD, California -- 1100 air miles southwest of 13th District OSI in Nebraska -- a separate but related letter happened to arrive on January 23, 1950 at 18th District OSI, the same OSI office which had initially received and forwarded to Project Grudge the November 29, 1949 memo from the Los Angeles office of the FBI telling of movie actor Bruce Cabot's tip.
This letter -- sent by a local branch of the United States Department of Agriculture (DOA) -- told of and forwarded to 18th District OSI two letters the DOA's Pasadena office had recently received...
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Agricultural Research Administration
Bureau Of Agricultural And Industrial Chemistry
263 South Chester Avenue
18th District Headquarters,
Pasadena 5, California
January 20, 1950
Atlantic and Bandini Blvds.
We are forwarding herewith two letters which have been received today from Linden and Independence, Missouri, referring to an article published in a Kansas paper on the subject of "Flying Saucers". Since the account refers to "crashing the gate" at a radar station, it seemed that it might need investigation.
We are naturally unable to reply to these letters, and are sending them to your office for such attention as you think necessary.
Very truly yours,
Fruit and Vegetable Chemistry Laboratory
The first enclosed letter read...
United States Research Bureau
January 10, 1950
Los Angeles, California
I have heard and read numerous accounts concerning the alleged "Flying Saucer". The latest story was found in a local paper called "The Wyandotte Echo", which is published in Kansas City, Kansas. The account appeared in the issue of January 6, 1950. Since the article mentioned you, I wonder if you could verify or discredit it?
The article was as follows:
The letter then transcribed the article word for word, identical to transcription in the 13th District OSI report given above, including punctuation, with the exceptions that one spells out the word "eighteen" while the other uses numerals, one leaves out the word "it" at one point, one hyphenates the word "interplanetary", and one leaves out the subheadings. After providing the transcription, the January 10th letter ends...
Enclosed please find a self addressed envelope.
Thank you very much.
The second letter read (Note: names blacked out on the declassified copy included in brackets where known)...
United States Research Bureau
January 13, 1950
Los Angeles, Cal.
January 6 1950 there appeared an article in the Wyandotte Echo Official publication of Wyandotte County Kansas, pertaining to the Flying Saucers. This report is put out by [Rudy Fick] well known auto dealer of Kansas City. He states that while in Denver Colo. he called on the Assistant Manager of the Ford agency there. While there he met an engineer from the Ford plant named Coulter. [Coulter] stated that while at a radar station on the New Mexico Arizonia [sic] border he saw two of the secret flying saucers. [Coulter] states that according to information given him about fifty of these craft have been found and that about forty of these are in the United States research [sic, uncapitalized] Laboratory and Bureau in Los Angeles.
Useing [sic] the Enclosed self addressed envelope will you please answer this letter and tell me if there is any truth in the article that appeared in the above mentioned paper publication.
The reason the letters had reached the Department of Agriculture harks back to a simpler time when letters would often be addressed to an organization with only the organization's title and city on the envelope. Both letters had been addressed to the "United States Research Bureau" in Los Angeles, as per the Wyandotte Echo's statement...
...there are around fifty of these craft that have been found in the United States in a period of about two years, and forty of these are in the United States Research Bureau in Los Angeles.
And so when the two letters from Missouri arrived at the Los Angeles post office, addressed to the "United States Research Bureau" in Los Angeles, the post office delivered them to the closest possible match, in this case the United States Research and Development Company of 5225 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles.
As it turned out, the Wilshire Boulevard address was a mailbox address only, used by a gentleman who later told an OSI agent that he was a "consultant for a number of rubber companies".
From there -- by means and for reasons unknown -- the letters were forwarded to the DOA's Agricultural Research Administration, Bureau Of Agricultural And Industrial Chemistry, in Pasadena -- which themselves forwarded them to 18th District OSI because of the mention of "crashing the gate" at an Air Force radar station.
And of such serendipity, the letters eventually made their way into the files of Project Grudge in Ohio.
January 23, 1950, 14th District OSI investigative report out of Lowry AFB, Colorado, by Special Agent Frederick K. Ungerer, with copies distributed to 13th District OSI in Omaha, Nebraska. In the "Reference" section of the report is the January 20, 1950 13th District OSI report by Special Agent Lawrence A. Applebee.
ON THE SAME DAY the letter from DOA in Pasadena reached 18th District OSI in Maywood, California -- January 23, 1950 -- an investigative report was being filed 715 air miles northeast of 18th District OSI at Lowry AFB in Colorado, home to the 14th District OSI.
The investigation had been the result of the January 20, 1950, 13th District OSI report by Special Agent Lawrence A. Applebee in Omaha, Nebraska -- approximately 420 miles northeast of 14th District's own location in Colorado. After giving a brief introductory overview of the reason for the investigation, the report focused on developments in Denver, where Rudy Fick had met the man he called "Coulter"...
AT DENVER, COLORADO
1. This is a joint investigation of Special Agent FREDERICK F. HANSEN and the writer.
2. Mr. JACK M. MURPHY, Region Manager, Ford Motor Company, and Mr. L.J. VAN HORN were interviewed 17 January 1950. The following information was revealed. MORLEY B. DAVIES, Field Representative, J. Walter Thompson Company, has been bringing stories concerning flying saucers to MURPHY since early October 1949. These stories originated with GEORGE KOEHLER (previously reported as COULTER), an advertising salesman for Station KMYR in Denver, Colorado. KOEHLER's stories describe the construction of flying saucers and the occupants. Just prior to Christmas DAVIES told MURPHY that KOEHLER had some parts from a flying saucer, in his possession. MURPHY requested that he (DAVIES) attempt to arrange an interview with KOEHLER. KOEHLER and DAVIES came to the Ford Motor Company office where MURPHY, VAN HORN, a Mr. RUDY FICK, and several Ford Motor Company employees were present. KOEHLER brought with him two (2) gears; several metal discs, similar to "knock out" plugs from electrical fixtures; and a gadget described as a radio. KOEHLER calimed [sic] to have had the radio playing at one time and it played a type of music similar to Chinese. During the time of the visit at the Ford Motor Company the radio remained silent. While examining the gears with a magnifying glass, VAN HORN discovered the Arabic numeral "6" and a small arrow. MURPHY called in one of his shop engineers who examined the gears and pronounced them "just gears". MURPHY described the small metal discs as a soft aluminum like metal which scratched easily. KOEHLER claimed that a friend of his at the Winter-Weiss Company (automobile equipment) was unable to analyze the type of metal. MURPHY immediately contacted Mr. ADOLPH WINTER of the Winter-Weiss Company and had him check the truth of the Statement. Mr. WINTER called back in twenty-five (25) minutes and stated positively that none of his employees had conducted an analysis of metal for KOEHLER nor did any of them know KOEHLER. At this time Mr. MURPHY offered to have the metals analyzed by the Ford Motor Company technicians in Dearborn, Michigan, but KOEHLER declined the offer. KOEHLER claimed to have entered an installation near Phoenix, Arizona and had actually seen two (2) flying saucers. They were mounted on a tripod type landing gear. The entire craft could be lifted by two persons. One craft was damaged and the occupants had been burned. The other craft was intact and the occupants were in a perfect state of preservation. They were three (3) feet tall, blond hair, beardless, and had perfect teeth. These occupants were garbed in a blue uniform of cloth made from wire fabric. KOEHLER mentioned that the craft had a supply of food in tablet form and water weighing twice that of the water on earth. KOEHLER mentioned a Dr. GEBAUER (spelling unknown) who is supposedly a scientist in Phoenix, Arizona. According to KOEHLER, Dr. GEBAUER told him that the flying saucers originated in Venus and that there were fifty (50) in existance [sic] in the United States. KOEHLER also told of fifteen (15) flying saucer occupants parachuting to earth near Phoenix and that they became invisible when pursued. It is the firm opinion of Mr. MURPHY and Mr. VAN HORN that KOEHLER does not have a "full string of fish", and that he is "probably off his rocker". Since the meeting with KOEHLER Mr. MURPHY has been contacted by a Washington newscaster and the editor of the Amarillo Globe (Texas), regarding the flying saucers, but told them that he would rather not be connected with any such fantastic tale. MURPHY and VAN HORN stated that they would execute a signed statement if deemed necessary.
3. Mr. GEORGE KOEHLER, radio advertising salesman, Station KMYR, Denver, Colorado, was interviewed 19 January 1950. He affirmed the meeting at the Ford Motor Company with MURPHY, VAN HORN, FICK, DAVIES, and several others. He admitted devulging [sic] to these persons information concerning flying saucers, but denied very profoundly having had any metals or gadgets. He also denied mentioning any names regarding his sourse [sic] of information. KOEHLER stated that he had no parts of flying saucers in his possession at present. He denied having ever seen any flying saucers or their occupants. He stated that the source of his information was confidential in nature and that he was duty-bound not to reveal such source. KOEHLER stated that if he had been contacted by OSI Agents a month ago, he would have given any information that he might have had. He claimed to have been contacted by his source and told to forget everything he knew, concerning the flying saucers. KOEHLER claimed to have been approached by at least three magazines and offered as high as $5,000 for his flying saucer story. He was also approached by a representative of the Kansas City Star. He declined to reveal any information. KOEHLER stated that he fully believes that flying saucers do exist and that interplanetary travel is being accomplished.
4. Mr. MORLEY B. DAVIES, Field representative, J. Walter Thompson Company, Denver, Colorado branch, was interviewed 23 January 1950. Mr. DAVIES stated that KOEHLER had been telling him stories concerning the flying saucers since early October 1949. He described one as being 116 feet across and capable of carrying 16 occupants. He stated that they had come from Venus and had made the trip in forty-one (41) minutes. He stated the speed of these saucers was around 100,000 miles per second. KOEHLER stated that his source of information was a Dr. GEBAUER of Phoenix, Arizona and four other scientists. KOEHLER told DAVIES that he had met these scientists through his wife, who was either related to one of them, or a friend of some of them. They had accepted a dinner invitation from KOEHLER when on route to Phoenix, Arizona from the Wyoming Oil Fields where they had conducted experiments. KOEHLER claims to have kept in contact with these scientists and gathered quite a bit of information concerning flying saucers. He told DAVIES that the flying saucers were landing near Albuquerque, New Mexico, due to the attraction of the radar installation nearby. He presumed that the radar activity had an affect on these saucers since they were powered by a magnetism drawn from the atmosphere. After landing near Albuquerque these saucers, according to KOEHLER, have been transported to an installation near Phoenix, Arizona. This installation is controlled by the aforementioned scientists. KOEHLER claims to have visited the installation on one occasion and in order to enter was instructed to disrobe and don a one piece coverall suit. When passing through a door, an alarm rang and it was determined that the alarm was set off by a silver plate in KOEHLER's head and his dental fillings. KOEHLER told DAVIES that he was permitted to go inside the installation where he saw two small two place [sic] saucers. The occupants of one saucer were burned, but the occupants of the other were in a perfect state of preservation. The uniforms of all the occupants were indestructible and of material foreign to earth. They wore shoes of a substance similar in thickness and texture, to human skin. These shoes were also indestructible and showed no signs of wear. KOEHLER described the craft as having a tripod landing gear with ball and socket wheels. They were light enough in weight for two persons to raise them from the ground. KOEHLER told DAVIES that he and another man had lifted one craft and caused the balls in two of the legs to spin. When the ball in the third leg was caused to spin the craft suddenly tore itself loose from the men and fell to the ground. KOEHLER told DAVIES this motion was so sudden it wrenched his back. The interior of the craft, according to KOEHLER, contained a series of buttons used as controls. A small radio was present, which KOEHLER claims is the one which he displayed at the Ford Motor Company in Denver. He further claims to have obtained from the craft a time device, consisting of two metal discs which rotate upon one another. He told DAVIES that the discs made a complete revolution every twenty-eight (28) days. KOEHLER told DAVIES that he brought the radio, the time device, a few gears, and bits of metal back to Denver with him. He stated that the scientists had told him that the large 16 place [sic] saucer had been taken to Texas by Air Force representatives, one of whom was a three star General. According to KOEHLER, the scientists were displeased and informed the General that he would get no more of the saucers. During the meeting at the Ford Motor Company in Denver, KOEHLER told the group that one of the saucer occupants had been removed and placed in the Rosenwald Institution, Chicago, Illinois, for public display. He stated that the room had been wired in order to record the Public's reaction to the display. Mr. VAN HORN called a friend of his, connected with the Rosenwald Institution, and received the information that the entire story was false. Mr. DAVIES advised that KOEHLER has been relating facts and figures regarding flying saucers to him since early October 1949 and the last reference made by KOEHLER was that he had been contacted telephonically by an official of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in Washington, warning him to refrain from any further reference to flying saucers. Mr. DAVIES stated that KOEHLER is considered to be of excellent character, a non-drinker, and not known to be adictted [sic] to the use of narcotics. He further stated that he believed none of KOEHLER's story to be true and has no explanation for KOEHLER's action. DAVIES stated that he would execute a signed statement if deemed necessary.
5. Reference is made to report of Special Agent APPLEBEE, 20 January 1950, file 24-51, and TWX DO #17 210315Z. Investigation conducted by this office failed to reveal the exact location of the radar installation which KOEHLER allegedly visited. Investigation failed to reveal that KOEHLER claimed visiting any radar installation but that such an installation was mentioned as the landing place of the flying saucers. This installation reported to be near Albuquerque. The installation which KOEHLER claims to have visited is not a radar installation, but a place near Phoenix where scientific research is conducted by the aforementioned scientists.
DISRICT OFFICE 417, KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, NEW MEXICO
AT PHOENIX, ARIZONA
Will attempt to identify, locate and interview a scientist, Dr. GEBAUER, possibly JARBRAUER (exact spelling unknown), located in Phoenix or vicinity.
When on January 17, 1950, Jack Murphy -- the Ford Motor Company man -- told OSI Agent Ungerer that Morley Davies -- the J. Walter Thompson man -- had "been bringing stories concerning flying saucers ... since early October 1949", there was no reason for Agent Ungerer's ears to prick up at the mention of the date.
Nor when on January 23, 1950, Morley Davies -- the J. Walter Thompson man -- told OSI Agent Ungerer that George Koehler -- the radio station advertising man -- had "been telling him stories concerning the flying saucers since early October 1949", should the date have necessarily struck any particular chord with OSI Agent Ungerer.
For there is no known reason that Ungerer should be aware of a usually breezy column written by an entertainment reporter for the show business trade publication known as Variety.
But more on that, later.
March 14, 1950, 18th District OSI investigative report by Special Agent James B. Shiley.
OVER THE NEXT couple of months, there was little activity -- at least in the form of written reports -- on the investigation. On January 31, 1950, letters went out from 18th District OSI to the two letter-writers from Missouri, thanking them for "making this information available". On February 1, 1950, 18th District OSI reported that the search for the "United States Research Bureau" had turned up only the rubber company consultant with the mailbox address. The only real development had been that the various OSI Districts involved began to share their reports, and so the investigation became more unified.
By this time most of the relevant individuals involved in the story had been interviewed -- Rudy Fick, Jack Murphy, L.J. Van Horn, Morley Davies, and George Koehler. Only two remained to be found -- the "Dr. Gebauer" who both Murphy and Davies said Koehler gave as the source of his information, and "Cy Newton", the oilman overheard on the links by actor Bruce Cabot.
First up would be the mysterious "Dr. Gebauer", in the form of March 6, 1950, 17th District OSI investigative report by Special Agent Lindell W. Politte.
After giving a brief introductory statement that "Efforts to locate Dr [GEBAUER] met with negative results", the report stated [Note: The name GEBAUER is blacked out three times in the declassified copy but unredacted in a fourth instance, and his name is included in brackets where blacked out in the following]...
AT PHOENIX, ARIZONA
1. The following persons were interviewed and could furnish no identifying data, nor did they know of a scientist Dr. [GEBAUER] (phonetic spelling):
Dr. [Blacked Out], President, Arizona State College
Dr. [Blacked Out], Dean, Arizona State College
Mr. [Blacked Out], Head of Physics Department, Phoenix College
Dr. [Blacked Out], Head of Science Department, Arizona State College
Mr. [Blacked Out], Chemical and Metallurgical Engineer, Phoenix, Arizona.
2. The following directories and/or records of utilities were reviewed and no record of Dr. [GEBAUER] was revealed:
Telephone directories, Phoenix, Chandler, Tempe, Mesa, Scottsdale, Glendale, Litchfield Park and Buckeye, Arizona.
City directories for above listed areas
Register for State Board of Engineers
All public utilities, Phoenix, Arizona.
3. Mr. [Illegible] E. KEYES, Chemical and Metallurgical Engineer and Commanding Officer, 5508 Organized Reserve, Research and Development Branch, U.S. Army, 508 E. Culver Street, Phoenix, Arizona, stated he has contacted every known experimental laboratory in the State of Arizona in connection with Research and Development work for the Army, and has contacted every available Scientist doing experimental or research work that could be found in the State, and that he had encountered no individual named [GEBAUER] or any name similar to that. KEYES further stated that he has spent considerable time in locating all persons capable of doing research work that are within the State of Arizona and he does not believe that any person named GEBAUER is in this state.
REFERRED UPON COMPLETION TO THE OFFICE OF ORIGIN
It would be Newton's turn last, in the form of March 14, 1950, 18th District OSI investigative report by Special Agent James B. Shiley. After giving a brief introductory overview of the reason for the investigation, the report focused on the search for "Cy Newton"...
1. This investigation is predicated upon a letter dated 29 November 1949 to District Office No. 18, OSI, from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Los Angeles. The pertinent part of this letter is quoted below:
"On November 24, 1949, BRUCE CABOT, motion picture actor, telephonically advised this office that on the previous afternoon he had been playing golf at the Lakeside Country Club with CY NEWTON. CABOT overheard NEWTON talking about a magnetic radio the latter had in his possession and which he claimed had come from a flying disc which had crashed in New Mexico. NEWTON, who claimed to be in the oil business, had the radio with him at the golf course. CABOT described the radio as being about 7x2x2 inches.
2. Efforts were made to establish the identity of CY NEWTON and a review of the Los Angeles Telephone Directories and City Directory was made. The Northeastern Section of the telephone directory indicated that a SYLVESTER O. NEWTON, who might be identical with CY NEWTON, resided at 1562 East Broadway Avenue, Whittier, California, telephone 41-3059. A call placed to this number more or less tentatively identified SYLVESTER 0. as CY NEWTON since the party who answered the phone stated that NEWTON was in the oil business as per above quoted letter and that he could be reached at JEfferson 7254. A call placed to that number revealed it to be listed under the McCULLOUGH TOOL COMPANY, Vernon, California. The operator stated that NEWTON
spent most of his time in the field service and that she would have NEWTON call OSI. Eventually SYLVESTER 0. NEWTON called and he was eliminated as being identical with CY NEWTON, mentioned by BRUCE CABOT.
NEWTON further advised CABOT that he and an unnamed scientist were using the radio as a 'doodle bug' to find oil deposits in the ground. NEWTON stated that several of the flying discs had recently crashed in New Mexico, Arizona and Maine. He also told CABOT that the discs had contained men and that he had bits of cloth at home from the clothing of these men. In addition, NEWTON claimed to have pieces of metal from the gears of the disc.
CABOT gave his address as 1360 South Beverly Glen, telephone GReatview 58074. He explained that he had never met NEWTON until their golfing engagement and further pointed out that NEWTON was sober at the time the above allegations were made."
3. Telephonic requests were therefore made of the Lakeside Golf Club, Hollywood, California, to have CY NEWTON communicate with agent at OSI. When agent was subsequently in the vicinity of the golf club a personal contact was made with the telephone operator and she was requested to have CY NEWTON call OSI. The golf club telephone operator stated that CY NEWTON was a member but refused to give agent his residence address.
4. Attempts were also made to locate BRUCE CABOT, Beverly Hills, California, in order to solicit his aid in attempting to determine CY NEWTON'S address but agent was advised that he has been out of the city on location for the past several months.
5. Through the cooperation of MAURICE E. McLOUGHLIN, 329 - 31st Street, Hermosa Beach, California, it was determined that CY NEWTON resides, when in the Los Angeles Area, at the HOLLYWOOD-KNICKERBOCKER HOTEL, 1714 Ivar Avenue, Hollywood, California. Several attempts were made to communicate with CY NEWTON there but he was always out and he never responded to a note left at the hotel desk.
6. On one of these occasions, DOUGLAS HARRISON, assistant manager, HOLLYWOOD-KNICKERBOCKER HOTEL, showed agent a letter postmarked Laramie, Wyoming, 17 February 1950, in which NEWTON stated that he was "still marooned in Wyoming" and that he would "see you soon." The letter was written on the stationery of NEWTON OIL COMPANY, Equitable Building, Denver, Colorado. A subsequent interview with Mr. HARRISON disclosed that NEWTON apparently received agent's note but to date he had not communicated with this office.
7. Because of CY NEWTON'S obvious lack of cooperation it is felt that no further efforts should be made to attempt to have him communicate with this office. It might be mentioned here that during the preliminary efforts of District Office No. 18 to locate and interview CY NEWTON that a local KFI radio news commentator, SAM HAYES, on a morning program, announced in effect that a party at a Hollywood country club had stated that he had information on flying discs and that the discussion took place over a round of drinks at the "nineteenth hole" of the local golf course and that the "story got better with each drink." This news broadcast obviously was meant to ridicule the source of the story and may account for CY NEWTON'S failure to call OSI as per numerous messages requesting him to do so.
Though Newton had successfully avoided contact, he at least had been identified, leaving just one party -- "Dr. Gebauer", the Phoenix-based scientist whom George Koehler gave as his source -- who otherwise remained mysteriously unknown...
...an anonymity which would endure for two more years.
March 31, 1950, 13th District OSI report by Special Agent Lawrence A. Applebee closing the investigation.
ON MARCH 31, 1950, the investigation was effectively closed by 13th District OSI in Omaha, Nebraska with the notation...
It is believed that with the submission of RUC Report, District Office #17, same title, dated 6 March 1950, all logical leads have been developed and reported. This Investigation will be considered CLCOSED in the files of District Office #13, Office of Special Investigations.
And yet there was still at least one undeveloped lead -- the precise identity and location of "Cy Newton". Though the search had been abandoned by 18th District OSI in Maywood, California, it had at least secured a Denver, Colorado address for Newton's operations...
On one of these occasions, DOUGLAS HARRISON, assistant manager, HOLLYWOOD-KNICKERBOCKER HOTEL, showed agent a letter postmarked Laramie, Wyoming, 17 February 1950, in which NEWTON stated that he was "still marooned in Wyoming" and that he would "see you soon." The letter was written on the stationery of NEWTON OIL COMPANY, Equitable Building, Denver, Colorado.
But curiously, that "undeveloped lead" was never formally identified as such in 18th District OSI's March 14, 1950, report, of which the distribution list did not include 14th District OSI just outside Denver, Colorado -- the location of Newton Oil Company headquarters -- nor did its distribution include 13th District OSI in Nebraska, the end result being 13th District OSI's March 31 report stating "all logical leads have been developed and reported".
That further pursuit of "Cy Newton" was never accomplished -- or at least, any documents on such are not locatable in Project Grudge declassified files (though they may exist in individual OSI files elsewhere) -- is, to say the least, unfortunate. Had further attempts been made in Denver, Newton may have been located and his golf-course claims to possession of alien hardware contemporaneously explained in his own words for the record.
In any case, from that point on it would be in the very public arena that the story of landed discs and recovered bodies would be played out, starting with a March 8, 1950 lecture at the University of Denver -- some details of which appeared the day following the lecture in the form of a teletype from the Denver bureau of the FBI to agency headquarters in Washington, D.C. [Note: names blacked out on the original included in brackets when known]...
FBI, DENVER 3-9-50 9-25 PM JHM
DIRECTOR, FBI URGENT [Blacked Out]
FLYING SAUCERS. TWO SOURCES ADVISED TODAY THAT UNIDENTIFIED INDIVIDUAL HAS GIVEN AT LEAST ONE AND POSSIBLY MORE LECTURES BEFORE CLASSES AT DENVER UNIVERSITY YESTERDAY OR TODAY IN WHICH HE DISCUSSED FLYING SAUCERS WHICH HE ALLEGEDLY PERSONALLY OBSERVED. THIS PERSON CLAIMS TO HAVE SEEN SEVERAL SUCH OBJECTS, ONE OF WHICH ALLEGEDLY LANDED IN NEW MEXICO. HE ALSO CLAIMS TO HAVE OBSERVED OCCUPANTS OF SAUCERS DESCRIBED BY HIM AS OF HUMAN FORM, BUT ABOUT THREE FEET TALL. THESE OCCUPANTS OF SAUCERS ALLEGEDLY DEAD AT THE TIME HE OBSERVED THEM. THIS LECTURER [MR. X] REFUSED TO REVEAL IDENTITY, BUT IS KNOWN TO [GEORGE KOEHLER], WHO IS [OCCUPATION BLACKED OUT] CONNECTED WITH [RADIO STATION KMYR], DENVER. [KOEHLER] REPORTED TO HAVE MADE SOME PREVIOUS CLAIMS HIMSELF WITH RESPECT TO OBSERVING FLYING SAUCERS. LOCAL PRESS AND ALSO WIRE SERVICES CARRYING STORIES CONCERNING THESE LECTURES AT DENVER UNIVERSITY. OSI, DENVER, HAS NO ADDITIONAL INFORMATION EXCEPT THAT [GEORGE KOEHLER] IN JANUARY THIS YEAR REPORTED TO HAVE MADE SIMILAR CLAIMS AND UPON INVESTIGATION WAS UNABLE TO PRODUCE ANY VERIFIABLE INFORMATION. OSI CONSIDERS [KOEHLER] AS PROBABLE MENTAL CASE. BUREAU ADVISE WHAT, IF ANY, ACTION DESIRED AT DENVER.
The lecture by the mysterious "Mr. X" at the University of Denver -- lasting a full 50 minutes -- obviously attracted considerable attention from the start. The lecture had been given to science students, and the lecturer had indeed remained anonymous -- brought before the class and introduced by Koehler only as "a man of science" and of "a mature mind".
From there word began to spread of the fantastic claims of crashed saucers and their dead pilots secretly held by the government, and minor stories about both the lecture and the claims began to appear in the Denver Post.
The lecture itself had been recorded by Koehler, and three days later Koehler played it for "a group of Denver businessmen, two of them United Air Lines executives", which quickly became a feature story in the Denver, Colorado Post by reporter Thor Severson, giving full details of the original lecture.
In the intervening time the chancellor of the University Denver "cautioned" that guest lecturers be carefully screened, and the professor who had invited the mystery "man of science" defended the selection merely as a challenge to his students to apply the scientific method to evaluating claims made by a speaker -- both stories also appearing in the Post.
Had these stories come to the attention of the 14th District OSI in Colorado, surely eyebrows would have raised at the mention of George Koehler -- who the story says introduced the unknown man at the lecture. By all indications the lecturer -- who Koehler identified as "a man of science" -- was a close match to the mysterious "Dr. Gebauer".
Yet the Denver Post was the major local publication for those living or working at Lowry Air Force Base where 14th District OSI was based.
And the FBI teletype indicates clearly that it had discussed the matter with someone familiar with Koehler's claims at 14th District OSI.
But for reasons which can only be surmised, no report on the mysterious lecturer -- obviously related to the investigation then being conducted by four different OSI Districts -- ever emanated out from 14th District OSI...
...or, at least, it's not part of Project Grudge declassified files.
But much more on that, later.
1. The Cardiff Giant was a 10-foot tall gypsum sculpture planted in a farmer's field and "discovered" in 1869; the Piltdown Man was a human skull merged with an orangutan's jaw bone to produce the "missing link" in 1912; the Cottingley Fairy photos were photographic trickery in 1917; and the Great Moon Hoax of 1835 consisted of a series of six articles in the New York Sun telling of an astronomer's discovery of a civilization on the moon.
2. The "Warren Haught" named as the Roswell public information officer in "'Flying Saucer' Is Found in New Mexico" is variously also referred to as "Walter Haut" or "Walter Haupt" in subsequent accounts of Roswell.
3. The official Air Force investigation into flying discs -- headquartered at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio -- operated under three successive names. The first was Project Sign (1948-1949), the second was Project Grudge (1949-1951), and the third was Project Blue Book (1951 - 1969). Declassified Air Force files from the entire period from 1947 to 1969 from all three -- Sign, Grudge, and Blue Book -- are generally collectively referred to as Project Blue Book files, but this series uses the Project Grudge name for events occurring during its active period.
4. Though redacted copies of documents are sometimes used as graphics in this post, all transcriptions are from unredacted copies, available for review here.
5. The "hush hush" MGM movie project referred to by actor Bruce Cabot in the December 1, 1949 memo from 18th District OSI to Project Blue Book (included as introductory graphic near beginning of post) is unknown. The reference to "Project No. ____ (the actual number not known)" likely relates to the studio system of assigning all films in development a project number. MGM would not release a science-fiction film until "Forbidden Planet" in 1956.
6. Maurice E. McLoughlin of Hermosa Beach who informed 18th District OSI Special Agent James B. Shiley of Newton's Hollywood Knickerbocker Hotel residence was a twice-U.S. Champion singles tennis player and the World No. 1 player for 1914. His connection to Shiley and Newton is unknown.
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