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UFO Briefing Document: Summary of Quotations

UFO Briefing Document

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Summary: Selected quotations on the UFO phenomenon, covering the following topics: The Reality | Extraterrestrial Origin | Secrecy & National Security | Challenge for Today's Science | The Effects of Ridicule


General Nathan D. Twining, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1957-1960):

"The phenomena reported is something real and not visionary or fictitious... There are objects probably approximating the shape of a disc, of such appreciable size as to appear to be as large as a man-made aircraft... The reported operating characteristics such as extreme rates of climb, maneuverability (particularly in roll), and action which must be considered evasive when sighted or contacted by friendly aircraft and radar, lend belief to the possibility that some of the objects are controlled either manually, automatically, or remotely." (Letter to the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Air Forces, September 23, 1947.)

Brigadier General João Adil Oliveira, Chief of the Air Force General Staff Information Service, and Director of the first official military UFO inquiry in Brazil in the mid-50s:

"It is impossible to deny any more the existence of flying saucers at the present time... The flying saucer is not a ghost from another dimension or a mysterious dragon. It is a fact confirmed by material evidence. There are thousands of documents, photos, and sighting reports demonstrating its existence." ("How to doubt?," O Globo, Rio de Janeiro, February 28, 1958.)

General Lionel M. Chassin, Commanding General of the French Air Forces, and General Air Defense Coordinator, Allied Air Forces, Central Europe (NATO):

"The number of thoughtful, intelligent, educated people in full possession of their faculties who have 'seen something' and described it grows every day... We can... say categorically that mysterious objects have indeed appeared and continue to appear in the sky that surrounds us... [they] unmistakably suggest a systematic aerial exploration and cannot be the result of chance. It indicates purposive and intelligent action." (Chassin, L., Foreward to the book by Michel Aime, Flying Saucers and the Straight Line Mystery, New York: Criterion Books, 1958.)

Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter, first Director of the CIA (1947-1950):

"Unknown objects are operating under intelligent control... It is imperative that we learn where UFOs come from and what their purpose is." (Maccabee, Bruce, "What The Admiral Knew: UFO, MJ-12 and R. Hillenkoetter," International UFO Reporter, Nov./Dec., 1986.)


Professor Hermann Oberth, German rocket expert considered one of the three fathers of the space age. In 1955, Dr. Werner von Braun invited him to the U.S. where he worked on rockets with the Army Ballistic Missile Agency and later NASA:

"It is my thesis that flying saucers are real and that they are space ships from another solar system. I think that they possibly are manned by intelligent observers who are members of a race that may have been investigating our earth for centuries." (Oberth H., "Flying Saucers Come From A Distant World," The American Weekly, October 24, 1954.)

General Kanshi Ishikawa, Chief of Staff of Japan's Air Self-Defense Force; Commander of the 2nd Air Wing, Chitose Air Base (1967):

"Much evidence tells us UFOs have been tracked by radar; so, UFOs are real and they may come from outer space... UFO photographs and various materials show scientifically that there are more advanced people piloting the saucers and motherships." (1967 interview published in UFO News, Vol. 6, No. 1, 1974.)

Gordon Cooper, Astronaut (Mercury-Atlas 9, Gemini 5), Col. USAF (Ret):

"I believe that these extra-terrestrial vehicles and their crews are visiting this planet from other planets, which obviously are a little more technically advanced than we are here on earth. I feel that we need to have a top level, coordinated program to scientifically collect and analyze data from all over the earth concerning any type of encounter, and to determine how best to interface with these visitors in a friendly fashion." (Letter to Grenada's Ambassador to the United Nations, November 9, 1978.)

Major-General Pavel Popovich, pioneer Cosmonaut and "Hero of the Soviet Union," President of All-Union Ufology Association of the Commonwealth of Independent States:

"Today it can be stated with a high degree of confidence that observed manifestations of UFOs are no longer confined to the modern picture of the world... The historical evidence of the phenomenon... allows us to hypothesize that ever since mankind has been co-existing with this extraordinary substance, it has manifested a high level of intelligence and technology. The UFO sightings have become the constant component of human activity and require a serious global study... The scientific study of the UFO phenomenon should take place in the midst of other sciences dealing with man and the world." (Popovich, P., MUFON 1992 International Symposium Proceedings.)


Wilbert Smith, Senior radio engineer, Department of Transport, Director of Project Magnet, the first Canadian government UFO investigation in the 1950s:

"The matter is the most highly classified subject in the United States Government, rating higher even than the H-bomb. Flying saucers exist. Their modus operandi is unknown but a concentrated effort is being made by a small group headed by Doctor Vannevar Bush. The entire matter is considered by the United States authorities to be of tremendous significance." (Top Secret memorandum on "Geo-Magnetics," November 21, 1950.)

Dr. Paul Santorini, Greek physicist and engineer credited with developing the proximity fuse for the Hiroshima atomic bomb, two patents for the guidance system used in the U.S. Nike missiles, and a centrimetric radar system. In 1947, he investigated a series of UFO reports over Greece that were initially thought to be Soviet missiles:

"We soon established that they were not missiles... Foreign scientists flew to Greece for secret talks with me... A world blanket of secrecy surrounded the UFO question because the authorities were unwilling to admit the existence of a force against which we had no possibility of defense." (Fowler, R., UFOs: Interplanetary Visitors, 1974.)

Senator Barry M. Goldwater, Sr., (R-Arizona), Republican presidential candidate, 1964:

"The subject of UFOs is one that has interested me for some long time. About ten or twelve years ago, I made an effort to find out what was in the building at Wright Patterson Air Force Base where the information is stored that has been collected by the Air Force, and I was understandably denied the request. It is still classified above Top Secret." (Good, T., Above Top Secret, Quill William Morrow, 1988; Frontispiece, letter to Shlomo Arnon, March 28, 1975.)

Representative Steven H. Schiff, (R-New Mexico), in response to inquiries in 1993 concerning a possible cover-up of the crash of an alleged UFO outside Roswell, NM in 1947, requested information from the Department of Defense:

"It's difficult for me to understand, even if there was a legitimate security concern in 1947, that it would be a present security concern these many years later. Frankly I am baffled by the lack of responsiveness on the part of the Defense Dept. on this one issue, I simply can't explain it." (Remarks on CBS radio's The Gil Gross Show, February 1994.)


Dr. J. Allen Hynek, Chairman of the Department of Astronomy at Northwestern University and scientific consultant to the U.S. Air Force investigations of UFOs from 1948 until 1969 (Projects Sign, Grudge and Blue Book):

"There exists a phenomenon... that is worthy of systematic rigorous study... The body of data point to an aspect or domain of the natural world not yet explored by science... When the long awaited solution to the UFO problem comes, I believe that it will prove to be not merely the next small step in the march of science but a mighty and totally unexpected quantum jump." (Hynek, J. Allen, The UFO Experience: A Scientific Inquiry, Chicago: Regnery Co., 1972.)

Dr. Felix Y. Zigel, Professor of mathematics and astronomy at the Moscow Aviation Institute, father of Russian Ufology:

"The important thing now is for us to discard any preconceived notions about UFOs and to organize on a global scale a calm, sensation-free and strictly scientific study of this strange phenomenon. The subject and aims of the investigation are so serious that they justify all efforts. It goes without saying that international cooperation is vital." (Zigel, F., "Unidentified Flying Objects," Soviet Life, No. 2 (137), February 1968.)

M. Robert Galley, French Minister of Defense (1974):

"I believe that the attitude of spirit that we must adopt vis-a-vis this phenomena is an open one, that is to say that it doesn't consist in denying apriori, as our ancestors of previous centuries did deny many things that seem nowadays perfectly elementary." (Bourret, Jean-Claude, La nouvelle vague des soucoups volantes, Paris: editions france-empire, 1975.)

Dr. Peter A. Sturrock, Professor of Space Science and Astrophysics and Deputy Director of the Center for Space Sciences and Astrophysics at Stanford University:

"The definitive resolution of the UFO enigma will not come about unless and until the problem is subjected to open and extensive scientific study by the normal procedures of established science. This requires a change in attitude primarily on the part of scientists and administrators in universities." (Sturrock, Peter A., Report on a Survey of the American Astronomical Society concerning the UFO Phenomenon, Stanford University Report SUIPR 68IR, 1977.)



Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter (see above):

"It is time for the truth to be brought out in open Congressional hearings. Behind the scenes high ranking Air Force officers are soberly concerned about the UFOs. But through official secrecy and ridicule, many citizens are led to believe the unknown flying objects are nonsense." (Statement in a NICAP news release, February 27, 1960.)

Dr. Frank B. Salisbury, Professor of Plant Physiology at Utah State University:

"I must admit that any favorable mention of the flying saucers by a scientist amounts to extreme heresy and places the one making the statement in danger of excommunication by the scientific theocracy. Nevertheless, in recent years I have investigated the story of the unidentified flying object (UFO), and I am no longer able to dismiss the idea lightly." (Paper on "Exobiology" presented at the First Annual Rocky Mountain Bioengineering Symposium, May 1964. Quoted in Fuller, John G., Incident at Exeter, Putnam, 1966.)

Representative Jerry L. Pettis, (R-California), stated in 1968 during the House Committee on Science and Astronautics UFO hearings:

"Having spent a great deal of my life in the air, as a pilot... I know that many pilots... have seen phenomena that they could not explain. These men, most of whom have talked to me, have been very reticent to talk about this publicly, because of the ridicule that they were afraid would be heaped upon them... However, there is a phenomena here that isn't explained." (U.S. House of Representatives, Ninetieth Congress, July 1968.)

Dr. Peter A. Sturrock (see above):

"In their public statements (but not necessarily in their private statements), scientists express a generally negative attitude towards the UFO problem, and it is interesting to try to understand this attitude. Most scientists have never had the occasion to confront evidence concerning the UFO phenomenon. To a scientist, the main source of hard information (other than his own experiments' observations) is provided by the scientific journals. With rare exceptions, scientific journals do not publish reports of UFO observations. The decision not to publish is made by the editor acting on the advice of reviewers. This process is self-reinforcing: the apparent lack of data confirms the view that there is nothing to the UFO phenomenon, and this view works against the presentation of relevant data." (Sturrock, Peter A., Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 1, No. 1, 1987.)

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