investigative programs in various science agencies of the Federal government and in various scientific organizations.Now, two years later, with very much more background upon which to base an opinion, I find myself increasinglymore concerned with what has happened during the past twenty years' neglect, by almost the entire scientificcommunity, of a problem that appears to be one of extremely high order of scientific importance.
THE UNCONVENTIONAL NATURE OF THE UFO PROBLEM:
To both laymen and scientists, the impressive progress that science has made towards understanding our totalenvironment prompts doubts that there could be machine-like objects of entirely unconventional nature movingthrough our atmosphere, hovering over automobiles, power installations, cities, and the like, yet all the while goingunnoticed by our body scientific. Such suggestions are hard to take seriously, and I assure you that, until I had takena close look at the evidence, I did not take them seriously. We have managed to so let our preconceptions block serious consideration of the possibility that some form of alien technology is operating within our midst that wehave succeeded in simply ignoring the facts. And we scientists have ignored the pleas of groups like NICAP andAPRO, who have for years been stressing the remarkable nature of the UFO evidence. Abroad, science has reactedin precisely this same manner, ignoring as nonsensical the report-material gathered by private groups operatingoutside the main channels of science. I understand this neglect all too well; I was just one more of those scientistswho almost ignored those facts, just one more of those scientists who was rather sure that such a situation nearlycould not exist, one more citizen rather sure that official statements must be basically meaningful on the non-existence of any substantial evidence for the reality of UFOs.The UFO problem is so unconventional, involves such improbable events such inexplicable phenomenology, sodefies ready explanation in terms of present-day scientific knowledge, has such a curiously elusive quality in manyrespects, that it is not surprising (given certain features in the past twenty years' handling of the problem) thatscientists have not taken it very seriously. We scientists are, as a group, not too well-oriented towards taking upproblems that lie, not just on the frontiers of our scientific knowledge, but far across some gulf whose very breadthcannot be properly estimated. These parenthetical remarks are made here to convey, in introductory manner,viewpoints that will probably prove to be correct when many more scientists begin to scrutinize this unprecedentedand neglected problem. The UFO problem is, if anything, a highly unconventional problem. Hence, beforereviewing my own investigations in detail, and before examining various proposed explanations lying withinatmospheric physics, it may be well to take note of some of the principal hypotheses that have been proposed, at onetime or another, to account for UFOs.
SOME ALTERNATIVE HYPOTHESES:
In seeking explanations for UFO reports, I like to weigh witness accounts in terms of eight principal UFOhypotheses:1.
Hoaxes, fabrications, and frauds.2.
Hallucination, mass hysteria, rumor phenomena.3.
Lay misinterpretations of well-known physical phenomena (meteorological, astronomical, optical,aeronautical, etc.).4.
Semi-secret advanced technology (new test vehicles, satellites, novel weapons, flares, re-entry phenomena,etc.)5.
Poorly understood physical phenomena (rare atmospheric-electric or atmospheric-electrical effects, unusualmeteoric phenomena, natural or artificial plasmoids, etc.)