The Second Investigation
The second investigation into "flying disks" Project Grudge began in February 1949. Unlike its predecessor,
This, the second project was dismissive of the extraterrestrial explanation. The Grudge team did little or no research during its short existence and unofficially ended in December 1949.
Critics maintained that Grudge was a smoke screen designed to debunk all UFO reports as natural phenomena such as meteors or the planet Venus.
Project Grudge issued its only formal report in August 1949. The report concluded:
A. There is no evidence that objects reported upon are the result of an advanced scientific foreign development; and, therefore they constitute no direct threat to the national security. In view of this, it is recommended that the investigation and study of reports of unidentified flying objects be reduced in scope. Headquarters AMC [Air Materials Command] will continue to investigate reports in which realistic technical applications are clearly indicated.
NOTE: It is apparent that further study along present lines would only confirm the findings presented herein. It is further recommended that pertinent collection directives be revised to reflect the contemplated change in policy.
B. All evidence and analyses indicate that reports of unidentified flying objects are the result of:
1. Misinterpretation of various conventional objects.
2. A mild form of mass-hysteria and war nerves.
3. Individuals who fabricate such reports to perpetrate a hoax or to seek publicity.
4. Psychopathological persons.
There were a series of UFO sightings near Fort Monmouth, New Jersey in 1951. Pilots and radar operators reported encounters with a number of fast-moving, highly maneuverable disc-shaped aircraft. A Life Magazine reporter was at Monmouth for some of the sightings, and the case received significant publicity.
When General Charles P. Cabell asked Project Grudge for their analysis of this UFO encounter, he learned that Grudge had essentially swept UFO reports under the carpet and was essentially non operational, he became furious. The Fort Monmouth sighting had highlighted Air Material Command's debunking, and at a meeting, a frustrated Cabell was reported to have said, "I want an open mind; in fact, I order an open mind! Anyone who doesn't keep an open mind can get our now! ... Why do I have to stir up the action? Anyone can see that we do not have a satisfactory answer to the saucer question." At another meeting Cabell said, "I've been lied to, and lied to, and lied to. I want it to stop. I want the answer to the saucers and I want a good answer." Cabell also commented that the 1949 Grudge report was "tripe".
Lt. Col. N.R. Rosegarten wanted Ruppelt to take over as project leader in late 1951, partly because Ruppelt "had a reputation as a good organizer." While Cabell wanted Project Grudge reactivated, he did not want the general public to know that the military took UFOs seriously, and ordered the project to keep a low profile. This, he hoped, would protect the military's reputation. If the saucer phenomenon was groundless, they could not be accused of sensationalism, but if the UFO sightings proved to have some basis in fact, the military could produce serious studies of the subject. Cabell especially did not want the military to be perceived as “belittling civilians” who had reported the UFO sightings.
Project Grudge became Project Blue Book.
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