Jun 07, 2018 I Nick Redfern

UFOs and a “highly classified group”

As some of you will know, I don't have much of a belief in the theory that UFOs have crashed to Earth (although, I certainly did until around the early 2000s). Indeed, I have written two books on Roswell which, collectively, provide a non-extraterrestrial theory for what came down outside of Roswell, New Mexico in the summer of 1947. There is also a body of data that suggests some tales of crashed UFOs were created by U.S. Intelligence in the 1950s. The reason: to try and convince the Russians that the government had got its hands on alien materials, wreckage and technology. That does not, however, take away the fact that there are still some interesting tales to address. One of them is a fairly obscure event that occurred in 1952, and which is the subject of today's article.

Within the UFO files of the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations that are held at the National Archives, there is a USAF document which is dated July 23, 1952. It briefly describes an event that occurred in Maryland, only twenty-four hours earlier. The document reads like this:

"On 22 July 1952, Colonel Smith, Executive Officer, Directorate of Intelligence, USAF, advised that his office had just received a call from the above captioned individual, and that he was concerned over some object that had apparently fallen in a wooded area behind his home. According to Colonel Smith, Mr. [Deleted] resides on Layhill Road, Silver Springs, Maryland, and is employed by some Buick Company in the Silver Springs area. Colonel Smith further stated that Mr. [Deleted] reported this incident to the local police on 19 July 1952, the date the incident occurred, but having received no satisfaction decided to call the Air Force on 22 July 1952. I telephonically communicated the above information to Colonel White, District Commander, DO #4."

While the matter was not resolved, there is one issue that is worth noting when it comes to this particular account. That issue is the time-frame. July 1952 was also when a UFO "invasion" occurred in Washington, D.C. It was an affair that disturbed elements of the military and caught the deep attention of the CIA. UFOs were not just seen: they were also tracked on radar. It was a major development in the UFO phenomenon.

Keeping in mind the D.C. wave of July 1952, and the "object that had apparently fallen in a wooded area" in Maryland in the same time-frame, it's worth noting the words of a Canadian engineer named Wilbert Smith. According to Smith - who shared the story with U.S. Navy Rear Admiral H.B. Knowles - he knew of the recovery of a piece of a flying saucer that had "...been shot from a small flying saucer near Washington in July [1952].” Not only that, Smith claimed possession of that same "piece."

Smith said, in an interview with UFO researcher C.W. Fitch in November 1961: “I showed it to the Admiral. It was a piece of metal about twice the size of your thumb which had been loaned to me for a very short time by [the United States] Air Force. As a general thing they differ only in that they are much harder than our materials. In reality a matrix of magnesium orthosilicate. The matrix had great numbers - thousands - of 15-micron spheres scattered through it.”

According to Smith, he handed the material over to an agency that he would only describe as being "much higher" than the Air Force. When asked if the agency might have been the CIA, Smith refused to say anything more, except that the debris was in "...the hands of a highly classified group."

It's important to note that much of what has been said about Smith has been distorted (see Paul Kimball's on-target article "Oh Canada - Wilbert Smith & UFOs"), and particularly so certain issues relative to controversial tales of dead aliens and crashed UFOs. Kimball suggests that what Smith learned about crashed UFOs may actually have been disinformation, "aimed at the Soviets," and possibly "designed to convince Stalin that the United States had access to advanced alien technology."

Whatever the truth, it might be worth someone's time to look further into the matter of the incident at Silver Springs, Maryland in July 1952, the UFO wave of the summer of 1952 in D.C., and the words of Smith. Maybe, somewhere, there's a connection. Maybe.

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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