See also: some search results for the term: Defensive Ground Environment
The UFO project was referred to as SIGN through the end of 1948, during which the Air Force had brought in well known, and respected, individuals to clarify the problem for future Air Defense programs.
One of these was Dr. G. E. Valley of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is simply listed as a member of the Air Force’s Scientific Advisory Board, in one document.
Picture used with the permission of The MITRE Corporation.Copyright © The MITRE Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
It goes on to describe the Air Force’s interest in him this way: “Since many reporters colored their reports with talk of ray, electronic beams, and magnetic support and propulsion, Dr. Valley was asked to analyze the incidents and decide whether this could possibly be the case, in any instance, and to provide information on this matter...” Dr. Valley’s concerns would lead the way to the creation of what became our Continental Air Defense system.
In Appendix “C” of Dr. Valley’s report to the Air Force, he dealt with the different possible explanations for UFOs. One theory postulated the theory that the UFOs represented interplanetary spaceships:
Included in the report, Dr. Valley wrote:
“…3. Space Ships: The following considerations pertain:
a. If there is an extra terrestrial civilization which can make such objects as are reported then it is most probable that its development is far in advance of ours. This argument can be supported on probability arguments alone without recourse to astronomical hypotheses.
b. Such a civilization might observe that on Earth we now have atomic bombs and are fast developing rockets. In view of the past history of mankind, they should be alarmed. We should, therefore, expect at this time above all to behold such visitations.
c. Since the acts of mankind most easily observed from a distance are A-bomb explosions we should expect some relation to obtain between the time of A-bomb explosions, the time at which the space ships are seen, and the time required for such ships to arrive from and return to home base…”
This description of the varied phenomena surrounding the UFO story turned out to be about as accurate as it could be. While this certainly does not mean that it is a sure thing, it is one reason the Extra Terrestrial hypothesis had become so viable to those in the know. G. E. valley would go on the father the UFO defensive system that we would later embrace, after much discussion, and argument.
Another big name on the list of experts was Dr. Joseph Kaplan:
“Joseph Kaplan Papers, ca. 1940-1978, Collection number: 156 Creator: Kaplan, Joseph, 1902- Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections. Abstract: Joseph Kaplan (1902- ) was a professor of physics at UCLA, chairman of the department and the director of the Institute of Geophysics. He was also a member of the National Academy of Science, and served as chairman of the U.S. National Committee for the International Geophysical Year (1957-58).”
Professor Kaplan was to contribute the most in 1949, with the rise of the so-called “green fireball” phenomenon. By November, a conference was held to discuss the matter.
This meeting spawned for us a new term, coined by Dr. Kaplan: Detection, Surveillance, and Protection (DSP). Over the years it has evolved into a very large, inter-connected group of satellites and ground monitoring stations, which are known collectively as the Defense Support Program.
Another well known expert assisting the Air Force was Dr. J. Allen Hynek. He is listed, in one Air Force document as simply an astronomer, with the Ohio State University. Actually he was, at the time in question, the Director of the observatory there. He had been enlisted, “…for the purpose of attempting to determine which reported objects might be attributed to natural celestial phenomena.” Dr. Hynek had contributed so much through all the years he involved himself, that he is surely, now, one of the most recognizable figures in the whole UFO story.
As the incidences grew in scope and frequency, all sorts of fears were being brought to the table, at many high-level meetings. Industrial methodology was also beginning to be incorporated into the investigation. Research and Development was becoming an important factor in the UFO program. At this juncture, the *RAND Corporation entered the picture. It had been enlisted by Project: SIGN to research the data that presented the phenomenon as being space ships from an advanced culture. They were to expound on their research and build test systems if possible.
If there had been non-terrestrial material to study, it would have been a logical step, for the Air Force to bring Project: RAND into program. Project: RAND: also known as The Research and Development Corporation, had been created, in 1945, by General “Hap” Arnold. In a report to the Army Air Force Commander, he wrote: “…The conclusion is inescapable that we have not yet established the balance necessary to insure the continuance of teamwork among the military, other government agencies, industry, and the universities. Scientific planning must be years in advance of the actual research and development work.”
It seems likely that RAND was also designed to back-engineer aeronautical material recovered from the Nazis. General Arnold had been joined by others, including 1Dr. Theodore Von Karman, and 2Donald Douglas (President of Douglas Aircraft Co.). They brought innovative and standard setting methodologies to their Santa Monica based operation.
A few others listed as being responsible for the creation of RAND are 3Edward Bowles (MIT), 4General Lauris Norstad (Assisitant Chief of Air Staff, Plans), 5Major General Curtis LeMay, 6Arthur Raymond (Chief Engineer at Douglas Aircraft Co.), and 7Franklin Collbohm (Mr. Raymond’s assistant). From a meeting at Hamilton Field, California, General Arnold, Bowels, Douglas, Raymond and Collbohm designed RAND, and then got up and running.
1Dr. Theodore Von Karman:
4General Lauris Norstad:
5Major General Curtis LeMay:
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