High Strangeness: Screw You, Project Stork!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Screw You, Project Stork!

"Dear Mr. Gxxx:
"This letter concerns a preliminary recommendation to ATIC on future methods of handling the problem of unidentified aerial objects. This recommendation is based on our experience to date in analyzing several thousands of reports on this subject."

So begins a memorandum that could prove once and for all that the U.S. Government has been covering up what it knows about UFOs for a very, very long time. Or not.

The memorandum was sent to a Mr. Gxxx from a Mr. Cxxxx, and is noteworthy in that it was making a recommendation to the Air Technical Intelligence Center, or ATIC, an office of the U.S. Air Force that was housed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, OH. This is noteworthy because ATIC oversaw the activities of Project Blue Book, the Air Force's official study of the UFO phenomenon and long-time employer of Dr. J. Allen Hynek.

That's what makes the memorandum noteworthy. What makes it a potential mountain of political dynamite is that it was dated January 9th, 1953.

Why is that a big deal? Project Blue Book was begun in 1952. It superseded Project Grudge, which was started in 1948. Project Grudge superseded Project Sign, which was begun in 1947, in direct response to the first wave of modern UFO sightings to sweep across the United States in the summer of that year. By the time the Air Force pulled the plug on Blue Book in December, 1969, the Air Force had investigated 12,618 reported UFO sightings. And yet, according to this memorandum, a completely different, unknown government group had already investigated "several thousands of reports on this subject" by the beginning of 1953!

I don't know why, but I expected it to be a different color.

The name of the super-secret UFO study group? Project Stork.

What was Project Stork (CIA)? Which cases were Project Stork (CIA) investigating? Why did Project Stork (CIA) come out of hiding to issue this memorandum to ATIC? The last question is easy. In 1952 there was a huge flap of UFO sightings over Washington, D.C., our nation's capital. People were scared shitless, the Air Force had no answers, and pressure was mounting for the government to come clean with the American people about what the hell was zipping around willy-nilly in our skies. The Washington flap of '52 forced the Air Force's hand and precipitated the highly-publicized Robertson Panel, a commission of brainy scientists that got together to look into this UFO business once and for all. The people on Project Stork (CIA) were caught unprepared and attempted with this memorandum to get ATIC to slow-walk the Robertson Panel's report until they could complete their own study.

It occurs to me that "CIA" is spelled almost exactly like "CYA."

But I digress. The Robertson Panel was a whitewash. It issued a report that assured Americans that UFOs did not represent a threat to our nation's security. It got the Air Force off the hook, and everyone was able to sleep at night again. Project Stork went back underground and was, apparently, never heard from again.

But if this memorandum is true, and it must be because it is published in Dr. Jacques Vallee's spectacular book "Forbidden Science -- Journals 1957-1969," then the government was conducting a secret study of the UFO phenomenon simultaneous to the very public Project Blue Book. And if that's the case, you have to wonder why...

In any case, the folks on Project Stork were thinking big. According to the memorandum, their research was stymied by a lack of physical evidence (as a crack Certified UFO Field Investigator, I feel their pain), and they aimed to fix that. Their research showed that certain parts of the country could be classified as UFO hot-spots. They reasoned that they could set these regions up as "experimental areas," and equip each of them with "observation posts with complete visual skywatch, with radar and photographic coverage, plus all other instruments necessary or helpful in obtaining positive and reliable data on everything in the air over the area." 

The memorandum goes on to say that, "Coverage should be so complete that any object in the air could be tracked, and information as to its altitude, velocity, size, shape, color, time of day, etc., could be recorded."

Hmm... I think I see the problem. Project Stork wanted to mobilize a massive technological project in wide areas of the country to spot and track aerial objects that the Robertson Panel had just assured the American public didn't pose any security threat to the country. Awkward.

I can't decide if this memorandum is the bombshell Dr. Vallee seems to think it is. But there is one line in the document that is somewhat chilling...

Once these observation areas were fully equipped and functional, the memorandum states, "Many different types of aerial activity should be secretly and purposefully scheduled within the area."

W... T... F? Project Stork was suggesting that the government send up its own secret aircraft in the observation areas! Would this be before or after the CIA slipped a truckload of LSD into the local water supply? Damn. Screw you, Project Stork!

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