What on Earth Is It?
Today’s find comes from Dr. Amanda Weimer, an Archives Specialist in the NDC.
The National Declassification Center recently responded to a Freedom of Information Act request for documents created and collected by the Department of the Air Force on the topic of “flying discs,” popularly known as “unidentified flying objects” (UFOs). The Air Force studied sightings of UFOs under Project Sign, Project Grudge, and Project Blue Book between 1948 and 1970.
Today’s document was collected under Project Grudge, and is a classic example of the skeptical tone taken by the study. Mr. Albert Ehrke, who submitted this letter and the attached photograph to the Air Force, believed firmly that there was an earthly explanation at work: that the image of the “flying saucer” was “fake,” and that the Air Force might explain the photo as a “special, research balloon.” The balloon suggestion is typical of the explanations offered to the public by Project Grudge, which also include clouds, refracted halos around the sun (sun dogs), and conventional aircraft.
The NDC invites the public to share what they see in the photograph below.
This document is available to the public in the reading rooms at Archives II, in College Park, MD. To request the use of this original document, please use the following citation: Records of the Headquarters U.S. Air Force (Air Staff), (Record Group 341), Office of the Director of Intelligence; Mail and Records Section; Decimal Correspondence File, 1947-1954, box 293, folder “000.9 Flying Discs 1951”.