It all started in 1947. Lt. General Nathan Twining, the commander of Air Materiel Command, despatched a secret memo on “Flying Discs” to the commanding normal of the Army Air Forces on the Pentagon. Twining acknowledged that “the phenomenon reported is something real and not visionary or fictitious.” The silent, disc-like objects demonstrated “extreme rates of climb, maneuverability (particularly in roll), and motion which must be considered evasive when sighted or contacted by friendly aircraft and radar.”
A brand new undertaking, code-named “Sign,” based mostly at Wright Field (now Wright-Patterson Air Force Base) exterior Dayton, Ohio, was given the mandate to gather U.F.O. reviews and assess whether or not the phenomenon was a menace to nationwide safety. With Russia dominated out because the supply, the workers wrote a prime secret “Estimate of the Situation,” concluding that, based mostly on the proof, U.F.O.s probably had an interplanetary origin.
According to authorities officers on the time, the estimate was rejected by General Hoyt Vandenberg, the Air Force chief of workers. From then on, the proponents of the off-planet speculation misplaced floor, with Vandenberg and others insisting that standard explanations be discovered.
Project Sign finally developed into Project Blue Book, with the intention of convincing the general public that alien craft might be defined.
Yet behind the scenes, authorities grappled with one thing sobering: Well-documented U.F.O. encounters concerned a number of skilled observers, radar information, pictures, marks on the bottom and bodily results on airplanes.
In 1952, the workplace of Major General John Samford, the Air Force director of intelligence, briefed the F.B.I., saying it was “not entirely impossible that the objects sighted may possibly be ships from another planet such as Mars,” in line with authorities paperwork. Air Intelligence had largely dominated out an earthly supply, the F.B.I. memo reported.