To understand and to consider the value and the characteristics that something has at the very beginning, it is of supreme importance to realize the identity and essence of that something.
Later there could come other things, deviations and distortions. But that something that was at the beginning has priority over all that could come later, and should be the leading thread of our thoughts.
When I wrote my latest book in Spanish; “OVNIs: La Agenda Secreta” (UFOs: The Secret Agenda) in 2000, with an update in 2003 that won the International Zurich Prize awarded by the Spanish “Fundación Anomalía” in 2004, and another update in 2007 for the Uruguayan edition, I didn’t know of the existence of a very important book published in 1998, which I found later in a public library.
In that book I’ve found a description of the psycho-social situation of the American people in 1947, when Kenneth Arnold’s observation on June, 24 would take place, which traditionally is considered “the case that started it all”.
I have found that the beginning, the environment at that time when people started talking about “flying saucers” is important, unavoidable, and has the top priority as the cornerstone of all what happened later. But regretfully, it was deliberately distorted.
This situation emerges from the authorized word of two prominent scientists, two academics, who decided to deal with the UFO subject from their respective disciplines.
What follows is –first of all— a summary of the fundamental concepts that are part of Chapter 9 of the book, and later an analysis of what the authors say.
What I would like to share with you is a sober, down-to-earth reflection about the UFO subject, and it results in a demonstration that reinforces the main conclusions at which I have arrived, after decades of investigating, studying and reaching explanations about many UFO reports, as well as a study of the subject altogether.
I have also to add the amount of international contacts with the best investigators, the search for information coming from different sources, the interviews with technicians, Internet research, and the reading of nearly 300 books about UFOs, natural phenomena, meteorological phenomena, photography, astronomy, aeronautics, etc.
The book I am talking about is “UFOs & Alien Contact – Two Centuries of Mystery”, 1998, Prometeus Books, New York, 408 pages, written by Robert E. Bartholomew, Sociology investigator at the James Cook University in North Queensland, Australia, and George S. Howard, Professor of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame, in Indiana, USA.
On Chapter 9 of the book, under the title “Flying Saucers Come of Age” and the sub-title: “The Unique Context of the 1947 Saucer Scare” the authors wrote:
“For the past fifty years or so the most common folk theory about UFO reports involves the existence of extraterrestrials. However, given America’s cold war mindset, this view was not expressed at the time of Kenneth Arnold’s highly publicized “saucer” sighting. The American obsession with the cold war and possible atomic conflict was reflected in the explanations for the sightings. On August 15, 1947, a Gallup poll revealed that 90 percent of Americans surveyed were aware of the flying-saucer sightings and that most believed that U.S. or foreign secret weapons, hoaxes, and balloons were responsible.”
On the same subject, L.Gross, in “UFOs: A History, Volume 1”, July 1947-December 1948 (Scotia N.Y. Arcturus Books, 1982, p.30), says: “Nothing [.in the poll] was said about ‘alien visitors’, not even a measurable 1 percent toyed with the concept”
Bartholomew and Cook add: “In fact, Kenneth Arnold made his now-famous sighting public, despite possible ridicule, “for patriotic reasons”, telling Associated Press on June 2t6, 1947, that he believed they may have been ´guided missiles´.”
And now comes what for me is the most important part of what these scholars have to say about the process that began the trend toward the extraterrestrials.
I need to reproduce in extent what the authors say because it is a unique piece, a jewel, something of outstanding relevance:
“The common notion that flying saucers represented a U.S. or foreign secret weapon continued to dominate popular opinion through May 1950, when a Public Opinion Quarterly poll appeared. Of the 94 percent of Americans surveyed who had heard of “flying saucers” most (23 percent) believed them to be secret military devices. Only 5 percent placed them in the category of “comets, shooting stars; something from another planet”. Later in 1950 the secret-weapon explanation dramatically shifted to an extraterrestrial explanation, and has remained so ever since. The primary reason for this attitude change was the publication of several popular books and magazine articles advocating the extraterrestrial hypothesis. A bestselling book The Flying Saucers Are Real (1950), by retired Marine Major Donald Keyhoe, is one example. Frank Scully´s Behind the Flying Saucers (1950) claimed that extraterrestrials from a crashed saucer were being kept at a secret U.S. military installation. The book sold sixty thousand copies and was later revealed a hoax. In The Riddle of the Flying Saucers: Is Another World Watching? (1950), science writer Gerald Heard claimed that extraterrestrial “bees” were responsible for the sighting reports. As a result of these books and continued press accounts of sightings, numerous popular articles soon appeared in such magazines as Life, Look, Time, Newsweek and Popular Science, typically emphasizing the extraterrestrial hypothesis. From the standpoint of popular literature, it is interesting that between 1947 and January 9, 1950, The Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature lists eight magazine articles on flying saucers. However, reflecting the period´s popular belief, these articles were listed under the headings of “Illusions and Hallucinations”, “Aeronautics”, “Aeroplanes”, and “Balloons-Use in Research”. Beginning in 1952, and continuing to the present, the extraterrestrial theory was solidified as the dominant motif in UFO movie and television portrayals.” (pages 191 to 193).
Analysis of Chapter 9
1947 is a key year in the life of the United States of America. It is when the Army Air Corps is separated from the Army to become the U.S. Air Force. It is also –given the confrontational environment between the Western block and the Soviet one, the year of the creation of the Central Intelligence Agency.
These two aspects reflect the big concern and the fear that were in the United States about an infiltration of Soviet agents in the society, as well as that of a sudden attack with atomic bombs. That gave reason for the emergence of the two institutions pointed out in the precedent paragraph.
The authors describe very well that situation in the first paragraph of Chapter 9.
Therefore, the occurrence of the Arnold case must be considered in the middle of that particular environment.
Arnold declared to A.P. on June 26, that he made known his observation, overcoming the possible ridicule, “for patriotic reasons”. He thought that what he saw could have been “guided missiles”.
This declaration throws down immediately any possible explanation of what Arnold saw via a natural phenomenon. He was an experienced private pilot. He thought he saw a product of some technology; a product that was “guided” as he said, because the nine objects flew in formation, one behind the other.
One clear sign of the fear during the Cold War was that even the FBI started a kind of “witch-hunt” investigating the background of simple citizens who claimed to have seen “flying saucers”.
This kind of paranoia was also applied to certain institutions dedicated to investigate the UFO subject, like it was done with the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO) founded by Jim and Coral Lorenzen that was the first private institution created in the United States.
But the most relevant thing is what the American people thought about the “flying saucers”. The survey done on August 15, 1947 revealed that 90% of the people thought that the flying saucers were secret weapons, hoaxes and balloons. There was not even a 1% that played with the concept of “alien visitors”.
I find this forceful. No one, absolutely no one, two months after the Arnold case, thought even remotely in extraterrestrials. “Secret weapons of the United States, hoaxes and balloons”. Those were the ideas people managed trying to explain what they saw in the sky.
And this way of thinking was kept strong three years later of the Arnold case, as it was revealed by another survey conducted on May 15, 1950.
For the first time, this second survey offers the idea of “something from another planet” which receives a meager 5% of answers. Other possibilities of this survey were “comets, shooting stars”.
But this survey was testing the waters.
Because starting after these results there will be the elaboration by the intelligence of various organizations of a strategy with the specific purpose to change substantially the way the American population would think.
And pursuing that goal the best allies will be the mass media: magazines, books, films and TV. It will be there where the dissemination of the idea of “flying saucers” as extraterrestrial crafts will be done.
It is necessary to clearly see the big operation, the vast maneuver. The mind switch was not spontaneous, it didn´t happened by chance. It was the result of a deliberated and well planned effort to impose an idea on the masses.
Only the ignorance about how everything was managed since 1950 until today, can explain that people do not realize that they have been and continue been massively deceived, misinformed and manipulated.
That is why, it is sane to analyze all of this and find the truth behind the appearances; that secret agenda that works behind articles in newspapers and magazines, behind books and pseudo-documentaries shown in TV channels like “Discovery” or the “History Channel, and the production of TV series and films.
The cover-up of “the extraterrestrial” served to hide experiments, projects, and ultra-secret operations of aircrafts –some of them of very strange look at. And this began in the United States. That is its origin and no one can deny it.
Decades after, other countries took advantage of this kind of cover-up to hide their own experiments with new aircrafts and other military and intelligence activities like for instance France, Great Britain, Russia, and now China.
Therefore, to go back to the beginning and take into account the ideas in force at that time, when everything was clean, innocent and well intentioned, spontaneous, is the hermeneutic key to understand the whole issue developed later, where we are now and why we came to the current situation.
In me, it was an initial suspicion that led me to a large amount of research, on libraries, through the Internet, meeting with technicians and collecting documents.
And then, came the moment of truth. The moment when I felt that the same reasons that lead me to investigate and study UFO reports, pushed me now to share the truth I’ve found with as much people as possible.
It is now when I can feel that my mission is accomplished!
Lic. Milton W. Hourcade