Samford, having suggested that the official study was now just an intellectual exercise, that the Air Force is no longer worried about national security said, "Now, I think with those opening remarks I could invite questions. Questions, yes, sir?"
Reporter: Have there been more than one radar sighting simultaneously -- that is, blips from several stations all concentrating on the same area?
Samford: You mean in the past?
Reporter: Yes, sir.
Samford: Yes. That is not an unusual thing to happen to this sequence at all. Phenomenon have passed from one radar to another and with a fair degree of certainty that it was the same phenomenon. To say that there have been simultaneous sightings, the same thing by different radar, I think that we could be quite sure that that has occurred simultaneously. Now, when we talk about down to the split second, I don’t know, but simultaneously in time sufficient for us to argue that they’ve been two mechanical observations of the same thing.
Reporter: Enough to give you a fix so that you can be sure that it is right in a certain place?
Samford: That is most rare.
Reporter: Has there been any?
Samford: Most rare. I don’t recall that we have had one that gives us that kind of an effect.
Reporter: Could that be due to ionized clouds?
Samford: There are thoughts that ionized clouds do have some influence on this. We do know that the thunderstorm activity is quite nicely identifiable by radar because we use the radar for the purposes of avoiding thunderstorms and we do have some that show the storm area that’s coming in towards principal stations where protection is necessary in terms of high winds and thunderstorms.
Samford is avoiding the question here. The Washington Nationals were just the sort of sightings that the reporter had been trying to identify. The sightings involved multiple targets on multiple sets in which, those who attempted visual confirmation found lights where the radars showed them to be. This question was the whole point of the press conference, but Samford just didn’t answer it.
Reporter: How much money would you say the Air Force spends a year tracking down these flying saucer reports?
Given the circumstances of the press conference, and what had just been reported in the newspapers, the question is somewhat irrelevant. If the phenomenon is real, then regulations required investigation. If it posed a threat to national security, again, regulations required it. The investigation was something that was required to learn the truth, so the amount of money spent meant virtually nothing.
Samford: Well, the energy that’s going into it at the present time is outside of anything except the normal reporting procedures. Most of our reports come from individuals or, we might say, I think, on the order of sixty-odd per cent comes from the civilian population straight out. I think there might be something like eight per cent come from civil airlines pilots. You might find that another percentage, in the order of twenty-five, might come from military pilots. And the effort to further analyze them and profit in going after that in a big way is going to have in some way to be related to a standard measurement that makes this material for workman to work on.
I suppose that it not necessary to point out again that Samford did not answer the question. Instead he suggested the percentages of those who report flying saucer sightings to the Air Force. He offered no evidence that his statistics were accurate, and in reality, it makes no difference.