Samford: Well, our reaction to the recent Washington sightings is related to the past experience in terms of -- we have dealt with radar blips before.
Reporter: General, if these were vehicles or materials of our own making, they wouldn’t be a menace to the United States. Do you exclude that?
Samford: I’d exclude that, definitely.
Reporter: General, let’s make it clear now you are excluding -- if you’ll affirm that -- you are excluding vehicles, missiles, and other tangible objects flying through space, including the subhuman bodies from other planets.
Samford: In my mind, yes.
Reporter: Anything material -- would that be a clear statement.
Samford: When you deal with a scientific man, maybe he might quarrel with you by what is the real meaning of "material." With my limited knowledge of material I would say yes. In my own view the thing is excluded as being a material evidence.
Reporter: In other words, General, if you remove the EEI [Essential Element of Intelligence] from that statement, it could apply to any missile, material, or object that is in the air, regardless of whether it’s a menace to the United States or not?
Samford: Well, yes.
Reporter: In other words, it just isn’t there.
Samford: I believe that, that there is no -- well, now, that is a little bit in error because a minute ago I said birds do these things. Now, a bird has substance, you see. I don’t want to go out and say that these things are reflections of nothing. If they’re reflections of something. That’s why the thought of saying that this thing satisfies us in having no real pattern other than that of phenomena.
Reporter: General, you said there’d never been a simultaneous radar fix on one of these things.
Samford: I don’t think I wanted to say that. Reporter: You didn’t mean to say that?
Samford: I meant to say that, when you talk about simultaneously, somebody will say, "was it on 1203 hours, 24 and a half seconds?" and I don’t know.
Reporter: Well, I’d like to point out this fact that the officer in charge of the radar station at Andrews Field told me that on the morning of July 20th, which was a week from last Saturday, he picked up an object three miles north of Riverdale and he was in intercom communication with CAA and they exchanged information and the CAA also had a blip three miles north of Riverdale and on both radars the same blip remained for about thirty seconds and simultaneously disappeared from both sets. Now --
Samford: Well, their definition of simultaneous, yes. But some people won’t be satisfied that that is simultaneously.
Reporter: Well, it is pretty damned simultaneous (laughter) for all purposes, it is satisfied by the inversion theory, Captain.
Samford: Well, I’m talking about the split-second people who want to say you’ve got to prove now that this happened at such-and-such a time and they’ll say your observations are delayed by half a second; therefore, you can’t say it was simultaneous.
Reporter: And does your inversion theory explain away that situation?
James: It possibly could, yes. Reporter: It possibly could, but could it?
James: We don’t have the details. Reporter: Is there any reason why it couldn’t.
Reporter: General, can we get this clarified?
Samford: I believe -- I’m trying to let this gentleman ask a question. Excuse me.
Reporter: Isn’t it true, sir, that these show a definite grouping, the sightings around atomic bomb plants or areas? Doesn’t your map at Wright Field show that?
Samford: I find no pattern in this dispersal of sightings than I do in a radar screen. You can perhaps take distribution of sightings and say that you arrange it this way and you take this group during this period and that gives you a dispersal that may have some significance in it. But I’d like to have Captain Ruppelt develop that because he probably knows more about what has been done to try to plot these things and say, "Does that have any meaning?" I am not satisfied that any effort we’ve made toward a dispersal pattern has developed one shred of evidence or meaning. Would you correct me or speak to that point?
Ruppelt: We’ve plotted these things out on a map and they do come out grouped around some of the atomic installations in the country. However, there’s one point, you don’t know, maybe people in that area are a little more jumpy and, if they see a meteor, they’ll report it in to the guards. If some farmer out in the middle of Iowa saw a meteor, he’d just forget about it. Now, that is one possibility that we can’t eliminate. A lot of sightings that occurred around these atomic installations have turned out to be balloons, etc., but it may be that the story has gone out that those are vital areas and more people are reporting. We don’t know.
Ruppelt’s concluding remark, that "We don’t know," is about the only thing said here that is true. Everything else is speculation. The data are incomplete. The Air Force simply didn’t know what percentage of sightings was legitimate, how many sightings had not been reported, or if the explanations offered were real. They were there to answer questions and convince the reporters that they had the situation in hand. To suggest otherwise would have been to nullify the purpose of the press conference.