High Strangeness: A Tale of Two Offices

Friday, May 4, 2012

A Tale of Two Offices

Dayton, Ohio must have been a very weird place to be in the late 1940s, especially if you worked for the U.S. Air Force and were stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. I say this because over the past few days I have been reading two very different accounts of UFO research activities at Wright-Patterson, and the contrasts are beyond bizarre...

Why would UFO research be done at all at a base in Dayton, Ohio, you might ask. It seems strange, but Wright-Patterson has always been associated with advanced aircraft testing, and so every time the Air Force gets its hands on a crashed UFO they bundle it up and ship it off to Dayton, where it will officially baffle and confuse our best and brightest aeronautical engineers. Which means that anyone hoping to find a salvaged UFO at Area 51 is going to be disappointed. They're all in Ohio! Ditto on the alien corpses.

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where the U.S. government probably maybe keeps its UFOs and aliens.
You would think that that would make Wright-Patterson a pretty cool place to be between 1948 and 1952, and you would be right. But, it was only cool for certain people working in certain offices.

Take the experience of June Crain, in whom who I have now taken a special interest. This woman worked as a secretary/office manager for several offices at Wright-Patterson between 1942 and 1952. For the last few years of her employment, she worked for Air Materiel Command, and had earned a SECRET Q security clearance, which could mean that she was cleared to know about anything starting with the letter Q, or could mean something different entirely. The point is, once a person goes beyond Super Triple Top Secret, as June Crain did, the security nomenclature starts to make very little sense at all.

Be that as it may, everyone at Wright-Patt with a SECRET Q security clearance knew everybody else at Wright-Patt with a SECRET Q security clearance, and since they couldn't talk about their work with anyone without a SECRET Q security clearance they all spent a lot of time talking with each other about SECRET Q-y-type things going on at the base. As it happened, a lot of those SECRET Q-y-type things had to do with crashed UFOs and alien corpses being delivered to the Air Material Commend offices, where Ms. Crain would have to sign for the deliveries and make sure all the corpses were accounted for. Actually, that's not true, but because of her security clearance, the people who really did handle UFO wreckage and alien corpses spoke freely in front of her and even to her about the strange things in the basement... and her testimony, given many years later to UFO researcher James Clarkson, rings true.

Which makes it all the more ironic that at the exact same time, at the exact same Air Force Base, the dedicated staff of Project Sign (which begat Project Grudge, which in turn begat Project Blue Book) were working night and day to convince the American public that there were no such things as flying saucers and aliens from space.

The chapters in J. Allen Hynek's book "The UFO Experience: A Scientific Inquiry" in which he describes his role in the Air Force's official UFO research group paint a picture of an understaffed, unmotivated, directionless team of low-ranking officers and functionaries who couldn't be bothered to do even the most rudimentary investigative work, and always came the same predetermined dismissal of every UFO sighting case that they looked at.

Did the two offices know of each others' existence? In one office, you have SECRET Q June Crain hearing about nighttime deliveries of alien corpses and being given glimpses of strange alien metal, and in another office, perhaps right down the hall, you've got low-ranking Air Force officers with YOU ARE NOT CLEARED FOR SHIT security clearance blithely telling the American public that every UFO report they read about in the papers was just some yokel who either misidentified the planet Venus or should be in a straitjacket at the local asylum, or both.

Somehow, it is all too easy to believe that the two offices had no clue the other existed...

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