While working on something else, I had occasion to revisit the “Hippler Letter.” Hippler was the Air Force lieutenant colonel who supplied the Condon Committee with their instructions concerning what they were supposed to find during their investigation. I’ve looked at this in the past and you can read the letter and the analysis here:
The important part of the letter, for this discussion, is in the third paragraph. Hippler is explaining what they, the Air Force, had done in preparation for the Condon Committee investigation. Hippler wrote:
On the first item, I wish to present a slightly different approach. When we first took over the UFO program, the first order of business, even before approaching AFOSR, was to assure ourselves that the situation was as straightforward as logic indicated it should be. In other words, we too looked to see if by some chance the intelligence people have information other than what exists in Blue Book files. There were no surprises.
This statement turns out not to be true. There was other information that was not found in the Blue Book files. It wasn’t until 1985 that we learned there was something called Project Moon Dust. We all know about it now, thanks to the work done by Robert Todd, who discovered the existence of Moon Dust, and that it had a UFO component. Documents that came from the Department of State were labeled Moon Dust and those documents mentioned UFO sightings.
We all could have learned about it earlier. I have found four sightings from 1960, in the Blue Book files, that are labeled Moon Dust. The sightings are all of short duration and are probably explained by meteors. But the point is, Moon Dust was created in the late 1950s. In a document dated December 23, 1957, and from Headquarters, U.S. Air Force, Message #54322, a new Project called Moon Dust is discussed.
All this shows is that Moon Dust existed ten years prior to the creation of the Condon Committee, it had a UFO component, and not all of the information gathered by Moon Dust made its way into the Blue Book files.
|BG C.H. Bolender|
This goes deeper than just Moon Dust, however. In an Air Force memo, Brigadier General C. H. Bolender wrote, “Reports of unidentified flying objects that could affect national security… are not part of the Blue Book system.”
Dr. J. Allen Hynek, who had been the scientific consultant to the various public UFO investigations including Blue Book, told his colleagues at the Center for UFO Studies that the really good cases, the really hot cases, went somewhere else.
It is true that Hippler might not have known about Moon Dust since even the code name had been classified. Or he might not have known that reports that were not part of the Blue Book system went elsewhere because he had no need to know. And Hynek might not have communicated his observations to Hippler. It is also true that those Hippler queried might not have known about Moon Dust and this other information, but it shows that Condon did not have access to everything that the Air Force knew about flying saucers. It is just one more example that sometimes the left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing, and that we can all get caught up in the secrecy so that we can’t get at the truth.