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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Chapter One: The beginnings of DSP, continued...

As the second of the two World Wars raged across the planet, unknown flying objects reemerged as an issue. Military records reveal a surprisingly large volume of these unknown lighted objects seen, and reported officially. By the summer of 1947 what we now refer to as UFOs burst –seemingly very suddenly- upon the scene. This also accompanied a rather extensive, and as of yet unprecedented, restructuring of the Defense Establishment, and the creation of an unheard of level of secrecy in the name of National Security.

It began to burn its hottest at the outset of the second Truman Administration, in 1948.

The President had assigned the task of bringing this whole aspect of consolidation of the services to the former Navy Secretary, newly appointed Secretary of Defense, James V. Forrestal, who died after a short illness the following year.

We were at the very beginning stages of our experiments with missiles and rocketry at the time these unknown flying objects showed up. Though we were being assisted in these experiments by several “former” Nazi scientists, it still took an extremely long period of time, devoted to research and development, to even take the rudimentary steps into the world of rockets, missiles, and earth satellite vehicles. The craft of unknown origin were being flown by someone, in a manner which seemed to defy common reason. Even if one argues that they were remotely guided, someone, someplace, was guiding them…to where? They would have had to “go” somewhere…so where did they go?

Kenneth Arnold had said he saw several strange aerial devices “skipping like saucers on a lake”, and traveling at a terrific rate of speed, that summer. He is referenced as being at the beginning of the soon to be arriving UFO flap of '47. The shiny half-moon type craft were spotted by him because of a bright flash of light. He also pointed out that the objects seemed to follow the contour of the mountainous terrain below – perfectly - as if they were all linked by an invisible chain.

His report made headlines around the world, and he submitted a drawing to Air Force investigators, showing their appearance.

In time, phrases such as “the summer of 1947…”, and “the events of that summer…” began to be used to describe the events of that period in historical documents, by those who wanted to avoid the subject of UFOs yet still discuss history of that period. Nothing they can do, or say, can erase the strange truth of what was really going on.

On July 7 a newspaper ran a story of a disc being sighted by a Navy rocket expert, who worked out at the White Sands Missile Range, in the state of New Mexico. The Washington D.C. newspaper, The Evening Star, had this to say, ”…An eyewitness account of a flight of a ‘flying saucer’ came today from a Naval Research rockets expert here as aircraft were alerted along the West Coast in the hope of locating one of the discs and solving the mystery. The rockets expert, Dr. C. J. Zohn, who disclosed today that he had spotted one of the speeding discs on a recent Navy mission to New Mexico, said it looked like no guided missile he had ever studied.

The news account continued with, “On the other hand, Lester Barlow, Internationally known explosives inventor, advanced the theory at Stamford, Conn., that the ‘flying saucers’ were probably radio-controlled flying missiles being tested in the West by military authorities…Government officials have denied any tests are being conducted that might answer to the mystery that has baffled the Nation since June 25. An Army spokesman said AAF believes ‘there’s something to this’ but is completely mystified as to just what.”

The story was reprinted on July the 8th, in still another paper. Dr. Zohn, and two other scientists, saw the “missile” near Whites Sands, New Mexico on June 29, 1947, five days after Kenneth Arnold’s sighting of silvery, skipping, horse-shoe-shaped objects. This Naval Research Laboratory missile specialist was certain that it wasn’t a test flight of anything that was of our design. In one of the interviews he said, “…It was traveling away from us at a uniform rate of speed,” he reported. “It was clearly visible and then suddenly, it wasn’t there. It didn’t go behind a mountain range. It simply disappeared.”

Interestingly, Dr. Zohn was quoted as saying that when he reported it Army officers, at the range, he “…drew only flashy-eyed stares.”

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