Sunday, June 06, 2021

Condon Committee Negated


More than fifty years ago, the Air Force, believing that they were on the spot about UFOs, paid the University of Colorado more than a half a million dollars to investigate the subject. The claim was that this would be a scientific study into the reports of UFOs and a search for evidence. Dr. Edward U. Condon, a respected nuclear physicist who had once headed the National Bureau of Standards and was one-time president American Association for the Advancement of Science, was chosen to lead the project. He was selected, according to some sources, because he had no expressed bias about UFOs.

Dr. Edward U. Condon

That wasn’t the case.

Early on, in the investigation, an exchange of letters between Lieutenant Colonel Robert Hippler, who served in 1967 in the Air Force’s Science Division, Directorate of Science and Technology, and Dr. Robert Low, who was a member of Condon’s staff, outlined what was expected which was contrary to the stated purpose of the study. Hippler wrote:

This is an informal letter expressing some thoughts on our round- table discussion on the UFO program, and does not constitute the formal letter requested by John Coleman.

There are two items which leave me a little uneasy. The first is the Wertheimer Hypothesis, and its corollary that one cannot "prove" the negative on extraterrestrial visitations. The second is an apparently obscure understanding of what the Air Force wants. Since I will discuss this second item, you will see why this is an informal letter expressing my own opinion–and hence is not binding on you.

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. While there exist some things which may forever remain unknowable in the universe, certainly an extraterrestrial visitation must fall in the "knowable" category. An alien would not come light years merely to pick up surreptitiously some rocks, or melt holes in reservoir ice (al la Edwards). He would have long since gone through the geologic bit, and would be fairly knowledgeable of the make-up of stars and planets. You have stated that President Truman was unaware of the Manhattan Project until he became President. In that same time period, physicists not connected with the project were aware of the possibilities and knew that something was going on.

No one knows of a visitation. It should therefore follow there has been no visitation to date. As you are aware, if UFOs are an Air Force "sacred cow," the other services in the usual competitive spirit would not be constrained by this "sacred cow." Nor the “fear of panic” holding anyone’s tongue. No one is reticent about the horror of an ICBM attack. Words such as “end of civilization have been used many times.

This brings us to the second item. When you have looked into some sightings and examined some Blue Book records and become acquainted with the true state of affairs, you must consider the cost of the Air Force program on UFOs, and determine if the taxpayer should support this for the next decade. It will be at least that long before another independent study can be mounted to see if the Air Force can get out from under this program. If the contract is up before you have laid the proper groundwork for a proper recommendation, an extension of the contract would be less costly than another decade of operating Project Blue Book.

Condon understood exactly what was being asked of him even if others didn’t. Just three days after reading the letter, Condon was in Corning, New York, to lecture scientists including members of Corning Section of the American Chemical Society and the Corning Works Chapter of Sigma Xi. He said, “It is my inclination right now to recommend that the government get out of this business [UFO investigations]. My attitude right now is that there is nothing in it. But I am not supposed to reach that conclusion for another year.”

What this demonstrates is that the fix was in. Although this was supposed to be an unbiased, dispassionate examination of the UFO phenomenon, it was, in fact, a program designed to explain away UFO sightings by wrapping it all in the mantle of science. And, for fifty years, we have heard about the Condon Committee’s negative findings and its conclusions that there is nothing of scientific value in continuing to study UFOs.

I’ll add here that another purpose of the committee was to determine if there was a national security implication in the sightings. They found that there was not even though they had run into that national security implication in the Belt, Montana/Malmstrom Air Force Base sightings of March 24, 1967.

In the end, Project Blue Book was closed and the Air Force claimed that they were no longer interested in collecting information about UFOs.


All that has been negated by what we have learned recently. There have been many government programs to collect UFO data around the world, including one that we know as Moon Dust. According to the documentation available, Moon Dust continued until 1985, when the program was exposed. In a letter to UFO researched Robert Todd, an Air Force officer explained that Moon Dust was compromised. The name was changed but that name was classified, implying that the investigation had continued.

We have, of course, learned about the AATIP program, which again, was a study of UFOs. It was discontinued a couple of years ago. But Congress, as part of a Covid-19 relief package included a mandate for a study of UFOs with a report due 180 days after passage of the package. It was announced, just days ago, that the report would be submitted on June 25.

Here is what has been overlooked.

The New York Times reported, “U.S. Find No Evidence of Alien Technology in Flying Objects, but Can’t Rule It Out Either.”

This effectively negates the Condon Report which did rule out alien technology. The latest information tells us that there is something to be learned from further study of UFO reports and it doesn’t matter if they are alien, natural phenomena, terrestrial technology or something we haven’t even considered. The point is, we can now throw out the conclusions of the Condon report, study the case files because there is some solid investigation in them, and reevaluate our position. But we can no longer say that science investigated and found there was nothing to study.

The idea that there is no alien visitation based on the Condon Committee’s investigation has just been rejected by the headline that tells us that though they have no evidence of alien technology, they cannot rule it out, which is exactly what Condon did.

The next time someone says that we know there are no alien spacecraft because of Condon’s “Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects,” we can respond with, well, that might be what they said but it doesn’t seem to have been true then and certainly is not true now. The latest investigation, conducted by a mandate of Congress, says that such a conclusion can’t be ruled out. At this point we are starting from ground zero and given the history of UFO research, that’s not a bad thing.


Clarence said...

Excellent post, Kevin. I had high hopes for the upcoming Pentagon UFO report, but the leaked info seems to suggest it will solve absolutely nothing. Apparently, national security concerns aside, the American people, according to some, are still way to stupid to be trusted with the truth. Also, when one applies a standard of evidence such as "cannot be ruled out", what other discipline employs that when trying to ascertain the truth of any given proposition? Not a US court of law, not historians and certainly not scientists. Given the Pentagon would have immediate access to the best minds, methods and data, I simply do not believe it would be possible to arrive at such a non-conclusion. What also "cannot be ruled out", demons, time travelers and the Klingons?

Bob Koford said...


Thank you for continuing to write about this.

We know from the documents available in the “Blue Book” files that Admiral Hillenkoetter was “in the loop” as early as 1948. About a week after the Wyandotte Echo published their article about the supposed “Flying Disc” crash recovery, specifically on 12 January 1950, the Air Force Office of Intelligence Requirements published a rescind order, “SUBJECT: Reporting of Information on Unconventional Aircraft”.

Notice that the term used was not "Flying Saucers". This is because the National Security title used for these objects was "Unconventional Aircraft", because that is what the "Flying Discs" were established to be. It listed 8 official orders dealing with “Flying Discs” and “Unconventional Aircraft” that were to be rescinded.

We know that the rescind order had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that there was nothing to report, based on known history. Also, the recipient list is important to note:
1 Director of Intelligence, General Staff, US Army
2 Director of Naval Intelligence
3 Commandant/Intelligence, US Coast Guard
4 Special Assistant for Research and Intelligence, Department of State
5 Director of FBI
6 Director of Central Intelligence

The order was signed by Major General Cabell, USAF/Director of Intelligence/Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations.

Since we know, without any doubt*, that they did not stop reporting and analyzing reports of Unconventional Aircraft, including the so-called, “Flying Discs”, after this rescind order, we must theorize what the order was intended to accomplish.
Then, of course, we know that the Robertson Panel was used to put the first major obstruction into the path of honest research, by declaring it was all nonsense. As it was with the Condon Committee report years later, these conclusions did not end the analysis of serious sighting reports.

This has been the pattern for years.

If there was nothing to it, the gathering of official Intelligence reports would have ended right then and there.

Thanks again,

• “Reporting of Information on Unconventional Aircraft” published on 8 September 1950, to the Commanding Generals, Major Air Commands, ZI and Overseas/All United States Air Attaches, from AFOIC.

Louis Nicholson said...

So I guess this means this new report will not be a "Condon 2.0" report but something different? An "anti-Condon" report?

I do have a fear, however, that the actual report WILL be a Condon 2.0 by stating that the Times article was wrong and that alien visitation HAS been substantively, if not definitively, ruled out.

I really hope this new serious interest at least eliminates the stigma which has kept our best and brightest scientists from seriously looking at this subject. If so, maybe we can finally get on a straight road to a real answer to the UFO question.

BTW, today, I listened to your recent two-hour podcast during which you had no guests. I was wondering whether you would consider answering questions from your bloggers, listeners and readers whenever you do those solo broadcasts. I know when you generally announce a guest, you tell us that we can submit questions we want those guests to answer. Maybe you can accept questions about you and answer some of those when you have no guests. I, for instance, have questions about how you got into ufology and science fiction writing, what your favorite science fiction books, stories and movies are and why, questions about your military and war experiences, what its like to pilot a helicopter, what you think of the different military helicopters in use today and a number of ufo-related questions.

RWE said...

A friend of mine was an Air Fore officer assigned to public affairs in the Pentagon in the 60's. He said that not long before the Condon Committee was created he was in a briefing about UFOS and asked, "Do we have any material evidence of any kind associated with UFO's?" He was told "No."

He thinks that was the basis for the Condon Committee. We had studied the subject for 20 years and never found anything, so it was time to wrap it up.

KRandle said...

Louis -

By Condon 2.0, I mean that it will follow in that tradition. It will tell us that there is nothing in these tales of alien visitation and that all the answers lie in the realm of the terrestrial...

But it also means that they have reopened an investigation into UFOs (okay UAPs, as if that makes a difference) proving that the Condon Committee was wrong in their conclusions.

Finally, I have been posting stories about my Vietnam service. You can read all about it at This is an ongoing commentary about what I saw and did in Vietnam.

And, I write about science fiction as You questions will eventually be answered there.

KRandle said...


There was about a decade, decade and a half, of various officials attempting to diminish the importance of Blue Book or to end it completely. I think the Hippler letter says it all, but I have posted other information about this over the years.

09rja said...

When you think about it....wasn't Condon right? After more than 70 years of alleged abductions, sightings, and so on.....isn't it apparent (at this point) that the only way we are going to know (for sure) we are being visited by aliens is if they [the aliens] make the choice to reveal themselves?

That is unless someone believes there are pickled aliens out at Area 51. (And I find it highly unlikely that has been covered up for more than 70 years.)

Capt Steve said...

That classified appendix pretty much ensures that interest will NOT go away when this is made public (even though I suspect that the classified section discusses means and methods of information gathering rather than any juicy tidbit regarding UFOs). Were I a paranoid sort I'd think that the classified section is almost designed to further conspiracy thinking...there aren't many good reasons to append classified info to a "public" report.

And why the release of the Tic-Tac and other videos, as well as the reveal of AATIP? I feel a if there's a bigger picture here, as if we're watching the magician wave his wand while drawing our attention away from the sleight of hand...

Yes, this may negate Condon, but to be honest the vast majority of the general public have little or no knowledge of the Condon Report.

As for alien visitation: potentially some of the unknown objects are alien, but it's my belief that there isn't a single catch-all explanation for any of this. People who write off the UFO phenomena due to lack of evidence of extraterrestrial visitation should be open to other explanations (advanced military hardware, extra-dimensional/alternate timeline, Mac Tonnie's crypto-terrestrials, etc). The official line is "No alien visitors" or "No proof one way or the other of extraterrestrials" and never a peep about any other posssible causes. Why is that?

Paul Young said...

Anonymous (09rja) explained previously, 70 years is not a long time for things to be "covered up".
And Condon wasn't "right", at all. He (and his joke of a "committee") were simply a tool of distraction.