High Strangeness: The Uncensored Truth About UFOs

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Uncensored Truth About UFOs

So as part of my research into the career of Dr. J. Allen Hynek, I'm reading this dandy little book called "The Uncensored Truth About UFOs," by Edward J. Ruppelt (only $1 on Kindle!).

Now, if I was reading the original print version I would call it a real page-turner, but I'm reading it on Kindle, so I guess I have to call it a real button-pusher.

Why am I so excited to push the buttons of this book? Well, Mr. Ruppelt the author is actually Captain Ruppelt of the United States Air Force, and he was the man in charge of the Air Force's official UFO investigation unit at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, from late 1951 to late 1953. When Ruppelt took over, the unit had the unfortunate moniker "Project Grudge," but it was later renamed "Project Blue Book," in a rather transparent attempt to downplay the project's grudginess and emphasize its blue-bookishness.

Ruppelt's reign as the head of Project Grudge/Blue Book has been referred to by some as "the Golden Age" of the project, because Ruppelt took the whole thing very seriously. You may think it's bizarre that there could be a "Golden Age" of "Blue Book," but we are talking about UFOs here. Anyway, Ruppelt always kept an open mind about the UFO reports his office received, and made sure that his staff remained unbiased as well. And in the end, he believed, like Hynek, that, because roughly 23 percent of the cases his team investigated could not be explained, the UFO phenomenon was worthy of rigorous scientific study.

Capt. E. J. Ruppelt (middle rear) shares a chuckle with his Air Force bosses.

Dr. Hynek himself said of Ruppelt that "In my contacts with [Ruppelt] I found him to be honest and seriously puzzled about the whole phenomenon." Not wanting to be outdone, Ruppelt had this to say about the good professor: "Dr. Hynek was one of the most impressive scientists I met while working on the UFO project, and I met a good many. He didn't do two things that some of them did: give you the answer before he knew the question; or immediately begin to expound on his accomplishments in the field of science." Unfortunately, I have not been able to determine who said what first, or whether the two men compared notes before praising each other.

But I haven't gotten to my point yet. My point is this: when Ruppelt was giving UFO research a good name as head of Project Grudge/Blue Book, there were a great many powerful and influential figures in the US Armed Forces who were convinced that UFOs were a very real and imminent threat to our country and to our planet, and supported Ruppelt's approach wholeheartedly. What a revelation! Not only that, UFO sightings back then were being routinely reported by military and civilian pilots, radar operators, rocket scientists and weapons experts -- in other words, just about the most credible witnesses you could wish for. Alas, it also just so happened that there were a lot more powerful and influential figures in the Armed Forces who believed that either A) the whole UFO phenomenon is pure bunkum; or B) whether UFOs are real or not, the Air Force must treat them as though they are pure bunkum for security reasons.

Sadly, the nay-sayers won out, the unbiased approach of Captain Ruppelt and his team was no longer desirable within the military, and in time Ruppelt left the project and the Air Force. Project Blue Book took on much of its former grudginess, and "UFO" became a dirty word in the military and in the media, the currency of crackpots and loonies.

Just think about it though: for that one brief instant in time, it was cool for pilots and radar operators to openly file UFO reports, and for the Air Force to admit that it considered UFOs to be worthy of serious investigation. We've never had that since 1953, and may never have it again...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Regardless of his personal honesty, he reported to his bosses. They would have checked galley proofs prior to publication. A second edition was published, without the chapter saying it was alien technology. Does that mean this first edition was the total truth that was then suddenly discovered and suppressed? That is classic disinformation. QED...The real truth was suppressed? Please. These people won WWII, and they didn't and don't make mistakes. Gen. Patton was head of a nonexistant army prior to D-Day. ALL disinformation. Be smarter than the Germans. A nice study in technique. Buy both editions, they are out there. If you collect sci-fi.