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Germs from the Skies, Flying Saucers and FBI Investigations

In 1977, the FBI declassified its UFO files under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act. It was something that led to close to 2,000 pages of UFO-themed material being placed into the public domain. Since then, even more UFO-connected material has been made available by the FBI for one and all to see – such as files on cattle mutilations, the so-called Conatctees (George Adamski, George Van Tassel and so on), and UFO research groups. One of the first pages of material the FBI released back in 1977 was a letter sent, in the summer of 1947, to the FBI by a scientist. His name: Edwin M. Bailey. He was also a man who had some deep worries about the suddenly growing UFO phenomenon. Probably because of Bailey’s standing, the FBI didn’t waste any time in contacting him for a chat. J. Edgar Hoover’s agents were keen to see what Bailey had to say. After all, this was the dawning of the “Flying Saucer” age and just about everyone was fascinated by what was afoot.

In their papers on Bailey, the FBI stated: “Bailey prefaced his remarks by stating that he is a scientist by occupation and is currently employed at the American Cyanamid Research Laboratories on West Main Street in Stamford, Connecticut, in the Physics Division. Bailey further indicated that during the war he was employed at MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the Radiation Laboratory which Laboratory is connected with the Manhattan Project. Bailey advised that he is thirty years of age and is a graduate of the University of Arizona.”

Before I continue with the story, here’s a bit of background on Bailey’s employer, American Cyanamid Research Laboratories: “American Cyanamid Company was a leading American conglomerate which became one of the nation’s top 100 manufacturing companies during the 1970s and 1980s, according to the Fortune 500 listings at the time. Founded by Frank Washburn in 1907, the company grew to over 100,000 employees worldwide, and had over 200,000 shareholders by the mid-1970s. Its stock was traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ACY. It was repeatedly reorganized after the mid-1990s, merged with other firms, and saw brands and divisions sold or spun off. The bulk of the former company is now part of Pfizer, with smaller portions belonging to BASF, Procter & Gamble and other firms.

“Although originally a manufacturer of agricultural chemicals the product line was soon broadened into many different types of industrial chemicals and specialty chemicals. The company then diversified into synthetic fibers, pharmaceuticals, surgical products, plastics, and inorganic pigments before World War II; and later added, by acquisitions, cosmetic and toiletry products, perfumes, building products, home building, and several smaller product categories following World War II.”

Flying Saucers

The FBI continued and listened carefully to Bailey’s thoughts on the Flying Saucer mystery. In the FBI’s records we’re provided the following on the man and his ideas: “Bailey stated that the topic of ‘flying saucers’ had caused considerable comment and concern to the present day scientists and indicated that he himself had a personal theory concerning the ‘flying saucers.’ Prior to advancing his own theory, Bailey remarked that immediately after the conclusion of World War II, a friend of his, [Deleted], allegedly observed the ‘flying saucers’ from an observatory in Milan and Bologna, Italy. He stated that apparently at the time the ‘flying saucers’ had caused a little comment in Italy but that after some little publicity they immediately died out as public interest. Bailey stated that it is quite possible that actually the ‘flying saucers’ could be radio controlled germ bombs or atom bombs which are circling the orbit of the earth and which could be controlled by radio and directed to land on any designated target at the specific desire of the agency or country operating the bombs.”

Although just about everything Bailey said – and suspected, too – was speculative, the FBI was concerned by the matter of those “germ bombs.” Whether the FBI may have heard of such theories from other people, I don’t know; the files don’t make that clear. That Bailey became of interest to the FBI, though, showed that when the UFO enigma began on June 24, 1947 – the date on which the famous Kenneth Arnold case took place – J. Edgar Hoover’s agents were taking things carefully and quickly. Maybe with a degree of concern, too.

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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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