Spying on the Saucer Writers
On a fairly frequent basis, I get asked if I think there could be one or more “secret government files” on me. Well, as someone who writes about UFOs in terms of what officialdom knows about the subject, I can never say for sure that such files do not exist. And, one of the reasons for this is that the Freedom of Information Act has clearly demonstrated that certain authors of books on the UFO subject have indeed been secretly watched by officialdom – even to the extent of having their books reviewed by government agencies!
Although not widely known, the FBI has on various occasions taken more than a passing interest in monitoring publications on the UFO subject. To illustrate this, June 1966 saw the first printing by Lyle Stuart Publishers of Frank Edwards’ book, Flying Saucers – Serious Business. By October of that year, Edwards’ book was in its third printing.
On 16 October, it was announced in the This World supplement of the San Francisco-based newspaper The Examiner & Chronicle that the Congressional Representative of Michigan (and later US President) Gerald Ford, was pressing for Congress to look into the UFO matter. It was also announced that the US Air Force had commissioned a University of Colorado physics professor named Edward U. Condon to conduct an in-depth study of unidentified flying objects.
An FBI memo of 19 October 1966 stated: “…The [This World] article also points out that since last summer pressure has been mounting for the establishment of an independent, civilian controlled investigative agency to look into the UFO problem…[Edwards’ book] is probably a contributing factor to the current controversy.”
That both Edwards and his book were of interest to the FBI is something spelled out further in the 3-page Bureau document of 19 October, which – given its significance and relevance – I will quote at length:
“In [Flying Saucers – Serious Business] Edwards points out that flying saucers were observed in the spring of 1946, in Scandinavia and Russia (which he points out is about a year from the date of the testing of the Alamogordo atomic bomb), and the book documents many reports throughout the world of UFOs since that date, and claims that 1965 was the year of the greatest number of UFO sightings and that these were observed by multiple witnesses.
“It is author Edwards’ contention that UFOs are space vehicles sent to observe activities on earth and the Air Force, which is charged with the responsibility of investigating UFOs, has deliberately withheld information and given misleading explanations because it was fears a mass panic by the public if the public were told the truth.
“The book describes UFOs as polished metal objects, radiating heat and light (sufficient to have burned witnesses who were too near), and emitting some force field that interferes with electromagnetic instruments and power sources. Colors range from brilliant white to dull reds and brilliant orange. Some objects have carried blinking lights. There are three basic shapes: 1) Zeppelin-shaped ships up to 300 feet long; 2) disk-shaped objects ranging from a few feet in diameter to 100 feet, with many reported at about 30 feet diameter; and 3) egg-shaped objects, which according to the author are the ones most recently sighted.
“According to the book, the objects move silently and attain fantastic speeds, yet can hover motionless in mid-air; they have been reported to land and take off with great speed, usually with a burst of light from the underside, which in some cases has left the ground beneath them scorched.
“Many of the persons named in the book who have reported them are reliable individuals, including law enforcement officers, military personnel on official duty, military pilots, commercial airline pilots, civilian defense officials, etc. A number of photographs of the objects have been reproduced in the book, some reportedly taken by reputable persons. Many reported sightings are from atomic and missile research areas.
“Wreckage of crashed saucers has been reportedly recovered on at least three occasions, in one case described as a magnesium alloy, in another as pure magnesium, and in a third case, attributed to an official of the Canadian government, the material was described as an exceptionally hard unknown metal, actually a matrix of magnesium orthosilicate which contained thousands of 15-micron spheres throughout, and showing evidence of micro-meteorites on its surface.
“A few witnesses have reported seeing crewmen who have landed from the objects, who are described as three and a half to four feet tall, wearing what appear to be space suits and helmets.”
The FBI noted, in their final words on the matter: “Author Edwards concludes this book with a prediction that in the near future UFOs will make an ‘overt landing’ or deliberate contact with earth. A copy of this letter is being directed to Denver, in view of the contract to Dr. Edward U. Condon. The above is being called to the Bureau’s attention in view of the press report of mounting pressure for a civilian controlled investigative agency to handle UFO matters.”
Having discussed the issue of UFOs with a number of journalists in the mainstream media, I know that many view the hypothesis that government and intelligence agencies are taking an interest in the activities of civilian UFO researchers as little more than paranoia. Yet, as the remarkably detailed document cited above makes clear, those of us that enter the field of UFO research and begin publishing the details of our discoveries, can expect to soon attract the attention of the official world…