This is the text of a lecture given by 33rd Degree Freemason Manly Palmer Hall in Long Beach, California on July 2, 1950.
This morning our purpose is to analyze certain aspects of the human mind in connection with the mysterious case of the Flying Saucers. First of all I would like to create a little parallel, something that will help folks to see just what we are up against in a matter of this kind.
Quite a number of years ago a famous stage magician by the name of Harry Keller created a strange illusion, he perfected in stage magic the Illusion of levitation. Keller, who was a very able exponent of the art of conjuring, worked out a method by the means of which the human body could be suspended in the middle of a well lighted stage without any visible means of support.
He was able to so project it that a committee, honestly chosen from the audience could walk around the stage and even could walk under the floating body. Of course, in those days legerdemain was one of the principal forms of entertainment. It has failed in popularity because folks of our generation are insulted rather than amused when they are fooled. Keller gave his professional secret, the mystery of the floating lady, to Howard Thurston, who exhibited it to the public throughout his life.
In order to add glamour to the spectacle, the scene was decked in Oriental splendor, like the Arabian Nights, which brought to the mind of the beholder the wonderful story of the magic of the East, all of which contributed to the disorientation of his judgment, which was the necessary ingredient of such entertainment.
After watching this illusion a number of times from the audience, I used to listen to the explanations that were given. Those present knew in their common mind that it was a trick of some kind. The majority of these audiences assumed that and were not profoundly shaken in their judgment even though completely deceived by their eyes, which proved definitely that you cannot always believe what you see. There were, however, in such groups several classes of people, and there was always that little group interested in Eastern mysticism, which would have been willing to die to defend the belief that the lady actually floated, that it was done by a secret formula right out of the Arabian Nights. Nothing could have convinced them to the contrary.
Then there was another group semantically addicted to the belief that conjurers and mirrors were always associated. When you do not know how it is done, it is done by mirrors. So another group was very smug, happy and wise and knew all about it, it was done with mirrors. Having decided that, they gained proper distinction in their own eyes and among their associates and they were ready to enjoy the performance. There was another group with a more scientific type of mind. This group would gather in the corner of the lobby and explain in detail how it was all done with magnets. Magnets were the mysterious thing you could do anything with. It never occurred to these people to have it done by magnets would be more difficult than to have the lady actually float.
I listened to these groups explaining the wonder and it was only on rare occasions that anyone ever suggested anything that was close to the facts. In the first place, facts were too simple and in the second place, the mind was conditioned away from the prosaic understanding of the matter. It was very amusing because I happened to know how it was done having been present on a number of occasions when the device was assembled. They did not realize how perfectly, how simply and how completely the human mind can be misdirected. Of course, incidentally, we may say there was the lunacy fringe that had decided the whole audience had been hypnotized. But the real answer was very simple, but very cleverly and intelligently worked out.
Also when I was younger than I am now, considerably, I lived in a small town where circuses went by. One year before these more recent devices, such as the radio, but not before the party line on the telephones which was the great method of communication at the turn of the century, everybody listened to everybody else, the deepest rut in the linoleum was in front of the phone. On this occasion an old, decrepit, dying, mangy lioness disappeared from one of the cages. In the following week the lioness was sighted in an area of over five hundred miles.
It was seen anywhere from three to ten places at the same time. It frightened dozens of reputable, honest, God-fearing citizens, all of then solid citizens. Then the lioness showed up dead two hundred yards from the circus tent. It had ambled over there and fallen dead. Yet all of those who reported having seen it were honest, God-fearing people, which brings us to a simple fact that has been studied and analyzed for centuries, that is the delusion of masses.
Once a story starts it is almost impossible to determine how far it will go and how many variations it will assume before the journey is ended. Like interesting fragments of gossip it develops jet propulsion and also passes through innumerable transformations, so the final account has little resemblance to the original story. Knowing these tendencies of the human mind, these tendencies that are present in perfectly honest and honorable people, we have to approach all remarkable accounts, not in an effort to demonstrate how remarkable they are, but to discover, if possible some simple, natural, normal explanation, clinging to that until that explanation itself obviously falls. There are always levels of explanations ascending from the simple to the complex. We should carefully wear out every level, exhausting its most reasonable probabilities before we ascend to more rarefied strata of opinions.
Not long ago I was talking to a gentleman who had had a very bad moment, he had nearly killed a friend while out deer hunting. He told me the happiest moment of his life was the moment he realized he had missed him. But he said while he was aiming, while he was attempting to shoot what he believed to be the deer, which, of course, was obscured in the thicket, he would have taken an oath on any Bible and swear before God as a witness, that he actually believed he saw the deer. He saw movement, he saw movement in the underbrush, twig and branches took the actual appearance of antlers, and he was perfectly willing to swear that he saw the deer.
Now such visualization along lines of expectancy is not a new experience, and after a number of reports are circulated we have to recognize the possibility of such delusions. We must, however, bear in mind that the elements of delusion may not disprove the entire structure, but may account for certain difficulties which arrive later. I read an article recently on the flying saucers in which one researcher in the field was attempting to reconcile all the differences in the accounts, and trying to find an explanation large enough to include all the details of the various authentic statements. This was to my mind a mistake.
These authentic details will probably never be completely reconciled when all the facts are known. It is not necessary for us to verify every tiny thread of the report. It is impossible. These very threads may be so tangled and so exaggerated and enlarged in the retelling, that they obscure rather than contribute to a general statement of facts. The facts will probably show that a great many honest reports were untrue and that many very simple and factual elements were completely overlooked.
I do not believe there is any use in attempting to explain away the existence of these flying saucers. Even had we not the most recent reports, such as that which appeared in the last issue of the Readers Digest, and even before that, probably a year ago when Winchell mentioned the flying saucers in his column, telling the people not to worry, it was a government secret, even without these statements that have never been disputed there is still evidence enough that there is something, or several somethings, that has been seen.
Thus we may assume without any great exaggeration that something not previously generally considered is happening, and that there are basic truths under the stories of the flying saucers, that these truths like the levitation of the lady, have been explained very badly is also pretty evident, inasmuch as explanation utterly irreconcilable cannot all be right. Conversely, we can say they cannot all be wrong. That may also be possible, then again the truth may be a little different from all the reports, because it is hard to formulate reports where the necessary facts are not available.
But assuming for the moment that which I think we are entitled to assume without too much allowance for imagination, that something has been seen, and that the various reports about it like those matters in which they are in common agreement may have some validity, we are then confronted with the question of what we have seen. Nearly all accounts report several different things seen. Naturally, some of these accounts, including the flying cucumber, and the report of a great space ship that took fifteen minutes to float across the horizon, and reached from side to side of the visual heavens, might be suspected of exaggeration. These things get larger the longer we think about them, and like the famous fish story, they improve with the telling and with the enthusiasm of the narrator.
The various things seen and described can be classified into various groups; one group consisting of the flying saucer which is round, almost round, oblong, concave and convex. That various sizes have been noted, we know, some being of no great size, and others being of considerable proportion. Then something resembling the jet propulsion machine, either without wings, or with exceedingly thin, fin-like extensions, propelled by a tremendous power from what appeared to be gills on the sides, the whole structure shaped roughly like a cigar, have also been described by several persons.
Detached floating lights that are seemingly under control have also been noted. Rays, beams and lights, and such phenomena, disassociated from any visible structure have been reported. These might, theoretically, represent the distortion due to the pressure of the excitement of seeing something, but as the reports gather and fall naturally into several classifications they are worthy of being given consideration in those classifications.
But we must consider the type of person testifying. Several witnesses have been of more than common integrity, they have been specialists in various fields, they have been experts in aerial physics, and things of that nature. We must also take into consideration the pressure of an enlarged legend and how this legend can bring with it a tendency toward the fulfillment of expectancy. No sooner had the mysterious missiles, or whatever they were, begun to accumulate as stories, then we began to have the same type of thing that we had in the story of the floating lady.
We had a number of well-authenticated, well- documented forms of hysteria. Of course the milleniumists moved in immediately. This was a new indication of the end of the world and the Second Coming. I think that can be somewhat discounted. I do not believe the next Avatar will arrive on a flying saucer. In spite of the delinquencies of humanity I am also loath to believe we are apt to be wiped out by the wrath of the Almighty, or something of that nature. Not the wrath of the Almighty, but the stupidity of man, is causing most of the trouble.
So those who used the flying saucer as a “Repent ye, the day is at hand” made quite a stir at the time and worked upon the level of thinking that has been so tormented in the past by such procedures as to be rather receptive to the most incredible beliefs. This would be equivalent to tying the floating lady to the Arabian Nights, and making it appear it could be justified that the magician is a fakir of India, or some other equally wonderful explanation.
The next question that arose was the possibility that the so- called flying saucers were a guided or propelled weapon, and that they were the result of experimental research in military armament. I imagine that if at any time since the flurry began Mr. Gallup had conducted a poll on public opinion, he would have found the idea that they were experimental research in arms was held by the majority of people, end to a degree this rather matter of fact attitude toward the subject would indicate that the mass mind is more calm and collected than any of the individual elements which compose it.
If the flying saucer, the floating cigar, and the very highly stratified will-o’-the-wisp, if these were indications of armament projects, then naturally it would be difficult for the average citizen to pierce the protective wall which the government has placed around such research under prevailing world conditions.
I remember very well the flurry in Santa Fe and that area during the development of the atom bomb. Santa Fe is only a short distance from Los Alamos where so much of the research was carried on, and of course the cracker barrel congress was held in the lobby of the Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe. It was there the great physicists brushed elbows with the agents of espionage from various countries.
It was there that detectives and secret service men were breathing down each other’s necks all the time. It was here also we had a factory for rumors that was almost out of this world. Everyone had the inside of it. Everyone had a friend who had a friend who was in the know. The stories, when the facts became known, were all of them wrong, but each one was strongly defended by a group of champions who are now ready to defend something else equally uncertain.
I remember one day while I was down there in that mountain country, something happened that almost belongs in the department, projects flying saucers. Out on a ranch there of several thousand acres, and standing on the side of a hill with the view extending from ten, twenty or thirty miles, I noticed one afternoon an extraordinary roar. It was far stronger and more powerful than the sound of any ordinary airplane motor, even a large transport or passenger plane. Suddenly without any warning whatever, this roaring took on the proportions of a definite vibration and some thing moved at an incredible rate passing almost directly over the place where I was standing.
That it was moving very close to the ground was evidenced from the fact that pinion trees not more than ten feet high were bent half way to the ground. The thing passed in a fraction of a second, but I saw absolutely nothing although there was ample visibility for miles in the direction in which the sound seemed to fade out. What it was I have not the slightest idea, but I am quite certain it was not the Second Coming. The thought that came to mind was that it was a jet-propelled instrument of some kind, moving more rapidly than the human perception could follow, and by the time I could organize myself to look for it, it was gone. That almost certainly was the answer.
It is also quite possible that the sound of the instrument, or whatever it was, was such that it actually was moving in the opposite direction from that which the sound seemed to be traveling, and in looking in one direction I failed to see it because it moved in the opposite direction. Anyway, nothing was visible, it left no track of any kind, no smoke or gas, there was a terrific roar as it moved over the ground, bending the trees and it was gone.
Well, at that time what was going on in these research laboratories was not known to us, but it seemed almost certain that it was a high powered, possibly jet-propelled plane. I thought no more of it and said nothing about it until it came to my mind in connection with the project saucer. Almost certainly these things have an explanation in terms of the incredible advancements that have been made in scientific research in recent years.
Considering the next problem we have to bear in mind also the association between the concept of the flying saucer and the rapidly intensifying scientific-fiction literature which is getting more and more attention in the popular mind each year. This is like tying the story of the floating lady to the Mahatmas of India. It is a fortuitous circumstance that reality and fiction should exist at the same time which would incline thousands, possibly millions of people, to enlarge their sense of the possible and cause them confusion when trying to estimate the probabilities.
We have become comparatively immune to such abstracts as interplanetary travel, we have become immune to the fantastic fortunes of Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon. We would not be surprised to see Superman float in our window at any minute; there might be a slight shook but nothing serious. We are being constantly conditioned by the pressure on one hand of a scientific fiction concept, and on the other hand by the quiet but intense findings of our great geophysicists and astrophysicists, and persons of that caliber. These groups seem to melt together and defend each other, but this defense is more of appearance than reality.
If we go beyond the second theory of the possibility of international armament, which we will come back to later, we come into the most delightful phase of the whole problem, and that is the problem of interplanetary or interworld communication. The reasonable and inevitable conclusion held by some as being demonstrable and the only adequate explanation is that the flying saucer is a space ship. Back to our illusion, there is no doubt in the world that the lady floats because of magnets.
Obviously, there is no other explanation except the scientific theory. Now the space-ship idea appeals to a great many people but it has been my observation during the two and a half years I have been watching it, that it appeals to the wrong people; that is, it has appealed to a group of people who represent a level of worry, a group that is always present and always ready to be involved in such problems.
One of the interesting phases has been to draw Charles Fort and some of his opinions into it in an effort to prove that mysterious atmospheric visitors have been reported for more than two hundred years. Now, if that can be proved then we have a new equation to consider, but before we consider it seriously let us remember that not only were the aeronautical sciences inferior two hundred years ago to anything we have today — in fact unknown except to men like Leonardo — but the general approach to any phenomena was exceedingly inadequate. We have in the history of periods back to the beginning of time, reports of various things.
Let us consider, for example, the accounts of comets. Scientific books, and books of pseudo-scientific interest, borderline theories, very often include tables of comets, in which the shape, form and appearance of comets are distinctly described. Some of them show as many as twenty forms of comets, each type in the form or shape of some familiar object, a comet exactly the shape of a sword with hilt and decoration, a comet exactly the shape of a snake with two eyes and a forked tongue, a comet exactly the shape of a crown with jewels set around it. These comets were claimed to have been seen, and one was reported in the form of a sword hanging over Jerusalem at the time of its fall, and a similar one was seen hanging over Mexico City at the time of Cortez.
Now I think we can safely say that in the experience of astronomy in the last two hundred years there have been no comets that exactly resembled swords. There are no comets that can be seen writhing away through the sky like snakes, and there are no comets that resemble physical articles so closely that the article itself seems to be floating there. So we must assume a considerable degree of interpretation. We can also find well authenticated accounts of sea-serpents, lake monsters, and within the last two hundred years quite a collection of very justifiable, authentic and conscientious descriptions of mermaids.
These are not due to the desire to deceive, but it is believed that a certain type of penguin was mistaken at a distance for a mermaid. That is quite possible, although to me they look more like a groom at a wedding, but a dozen penguins standing an a piece of ice, just barely within the actual vision range of some old salt of the Seven Seas, suddenly developed long golden curls and started playing harps gesticulating wildly. These stories are not intentional fabrications, they are the result of the human mind looking for that which it expects, and taking a dim and uncertain form and clothing it in those expectations.
The problem of space navigation around this planet is one which remains as yet in the position of remote probability, nothing is impossible. We should be wise enough to realize that, and we should also be modest enough to recognize that other planets might have very well developed arts and sciences, far beyond our own accomplishments. At the same time we have incredible time factors. We have to begin to think of man or creature built machines that can go at the speed of light. We have to think of cosmic energy already controlled as a means of fuel.
We have to further assume that the production of space ships on other planets, or other suns, or other planets revolving around other suns, would present innumerable difficulties. We have incredible difficulties, difficulties as to whether creatures of other worlds could even exist in the atmosphere of the earth, which would make it necessary for them to be protected by some special kind of device. We have already so completely embraced the concept of a trip to the moon that the first two or three journeys are already sold out and it will not be long until they will be subdividing with a slight additional charge for frontage facing the earth.
Some three, four or five years ago people believed so certainly that lost Lemuria was coming up near the coast of California that they even bought land that has not shown up yet. There is always someone to believe everything, but the problem of the space ship as a solution to the present dilemma should be held, it seems to me, as a last recourse to be considered only when every other explanation fails. It involves too much that is imponderable to us, too large an explanation for what we see and for what we have seen.
It makes the tail of the kite much longer than the kite and gives us such a tremendous disorientation that we should consider it carefully. The concept, in fact, as far as can be discerned, landed on the public mind with a dull thud. It would be impossible to assume that we would have the present sense of complacency in the matter if we really believed that these ships navigated by intelligent creatures capable of building them were approaching and sailing around in good military formation, not alone entirely, but in bunches and clusters, without a definite reaction from the only group that could really estimate what it means, and that is, your scientific body.
The only person able to mentally envision even twenty-five per cent of the implication would be your physicists, astrophysicists and your researcher in the fields of cosmic energy and atomic power. These particular people are not apparently suffering from unnervement. They are not collapsing on street corners, they are not wandering around their homes absent-mindedly as though the sword of Damocles was hanging over their heads, they are not breaking up and falling to pieces under the nerve tension of it.
In fact, from these distant, austere ivory towers there is a thundering silence. The wrong people are talking about space navigation. If there were a reasonable probability of these mysterious things actually being the spearhead of a possible “project earth” being carried on from elsewhere, this fact in itself would almost inevitably unite the earth in a common determination to devote every possible research of every nation to determining the aims, purposes and means available for such contact between this planet and another.
We would have no more right to assume that such space visitors were friendly than we would have a right to assume they were unfriendly. If they exist and are capable of such methods of transportation they must be accepted as at least equal and possibly superior to ourselves in scientific accomplishment, because if they exist they got to us well before we had the means to get to them, which would indicate a very high degree of scientific knowledge.
That these strangers for some reason might scout the outer atmosphere of the planet is fantastic but conceivable, but that they should suddenly take such an interest in these matters, gives us time for pause. Either those in the best position to know do not believe that these mysterious projectiles come from the outer atmosphere, they do not believe they are space ships, or the whole group of them is the most idiotic combination ever recorded.
They are stupid beyond concept if they believe or have any scientific evidence of penetration of our earth’s atmosphere from the outside and are still worrying about China, Korea, India, Russia, America, England or any other nation on the earth. If our experts are still pondering how to raise taxes, or lower the budget, or the politicians and statesmen of the world are still trying to cheat each other, in the presence of such a situation, then their imbecility is beyond calculation.
The least we should expect from those like Einstein, or other leaders In these fields, although they might be able to explain something created by another culture, is that they shall not be indifferent to its imponderables. If these people have information which they are not passing on to other leaders of the world, information that would unite the planet against a possible threat, if such things do not happen we must assume that those in a position to make them happen either know a great deal, or else are incapable of knowing anything. While there might be exceptions to both extremes it seems unlikely that we have a complete breakdown among all the leaders of our higher scientific and diplomatic life.
It would therefore appear that unless we see more interest in preparing the planet on the basis of a global concept that we are not much concerned about this possibility. You will remember the result at the beginning of the second world war of the actions and intentions of Hitler when his planes flew over France without dropping a bomb, until the people hardly expected anything to happen, then suddenly without warning a terrific bombardment began.
The possibility that space ships floating in the earth’s atmosphere might be cruising about indefinitely for no reason is no better a possibility than that these are the spearhead of a project of some kind, and the earth, its people, its leaders and scientists, should either be unrolling the red carpet for friendly visitors, or else getting into a position for taking care of unfriendly ones. Neither procedure has been followed.
Therefore, we can only assume that the space ship theory is interesting people who are interested in the scientific-fiction approach to life, but not those deeply concerned with the salvation of the planet. There seems to be no reason for the assumption, and no actual-proof, that these mysterious flying saucers and their retinues of other factors have to be explained as belonging to some other universe, or coming to us from out of space.
There is an ingenious belief that the explosion of the atom bomb here and the recent report of something that happened in the flash of an instant, purported to be an explosion on Mars, might be tied together, and that the investigation of the planet is due to the reports of such atomic phenomena which has been noted by the astronomers and physicists on another planet, but this again more or less undermines the idea that scientific-fiction writers have advanced, that this touring around the earth’s atmosphere has been going on long before the atomic bomb. The whole issue is a little too confused on these matters to require much further consideration along those lines.
I think it is possible that some day there will be communication between planets, but we will have to make several very marked advances beyond even what we know as our atomic project before we will be ready to launch ourselves into the incredible vicissitudes of space, where we know with the highest concept of energy and power we possess today, that even presuming we had all the equipment necessary, the human being would not live long enough to make the trip there and back, even with very old age.
That such things might happen on other planets where life might be different, where life may be longer and the problem of the rejuvenation of life has been accomplished, all this is possible, but where it means fifteen, twenty or twenty-five years of travel through space at an incredible speed, with fuel problems almost beyond estimation, traveling at a speed almost as great as that of light, we might be wise and look for something simpler, and only depend upon such a concept in an emergency. Where everything else fails we are forced to fall back on the miraculous as an explanation of the problem we face.
Now let us consider the problem that was originally advanced. and which has been more or less sustained by documentation and recent reports. We know that on various continents in secluded areas very elaborate experimental laboratories have been functioning for a number of years. We know that prior to the collapse of Germany the Germans were already pondering a number of ideas in relationship to the development of atomic armament, and fantastic, scientific dreams about the earth’s outer atmosphere.
Many of these scientists survived the disastrous collapse of Hitler’s regime, and have disappeared behind the Iron Curtain. It is known with reasonable certainty at least a few of these scientist are now cooperating with the Russian atomic project. We also have every reason to believe that that project is situated in the great Mongoliain area in a little community called the State of Tanna-Tuva, where many of these laboratories are underground and where research in atomic missiles and in the delivery of these missiles is under consideration.
There are almost certainly other such centers of this research which will account for the reports of jet- propelled rockets, or something of that nature that were seen in a considerable number over Sweden and other Scandinavian countries several years ago. There are other reports that Britain has experimental projects in Australia and Canada. There is every reason to believe that even France may be carrying on moderate work in one of her lesser known colonial possessions.
We do not know exactly where, but we can well imagine they could do a lot of private work in Madagascar, where the inhabitants seldom leave their own country, and very few people go there. That the United States has an elaborate research project we know too well to even question it, because the reports that come out, little by little, are backed up by every indication that we actually lead the world in that type of research.
That all these nations are searching for certain means which include both missiles and the delivery of missiles, and undoubtedly include a number of other problems relating to matters of which we have no knowledge — and probably it is not good that we necessarily have knowledge if that knowledge can be of any comfort or assistance to a real or potential enemy — cannot be questioned. We know, for example, that we hear very little about the development of bacteriological warfare, yet there have been hints of research in that field, and from material that has come to my hands I do not think all of it is imagination.
There has been a hint of pollutional warfare in which sources of, water can be so rapidly and definitely contaminated as to completely wipe out huge areas of civilian population. These things in themselves are very terrible to think about, very horrible to contemplate, but are still, apparently, the inevitable consequence of the materialistic trend of our way of life. We are dooming a great part of our own race to destruction by our own ingenuity.
We have enough strength and resourcefulness to do this but we have not as yet sufficient greatness of heart and goodness of spirit to find constructive solutions to world problems. With the situation as it is we must realistically recognize a tremendous rise in atomic armament, a tremendous determination for one people to excel or exceed all others in the accomplishment of the instrument of offensive warfare.
There seems to be very good grounds for believing flying saucers are an experimental project in such warfare research. There has been some question as to where they came from. A recent opportunist film indicated they originated in Russia. I think probably that would cause Uncle Joe to have a broad smile under his mustache. I do not believe that is true. I think again it is the field of the unknown dramatized by the mystery of the Iron Curtain. We always wonder what someone is doing who is off in a corner where we cannot see him. It seldom interests us sufficiently to go over and explore, we simply sit down and wonder. The chances are if we go over we find him doing something just as useless as we would be doing under the same circumstances, probably nothing.
But with the conviction of Russia’s broad militaristic program, and the great chart or map of the Communist revolution dangling before our eyes, we are quite certain that with the various scientific minds that have been commandeered from other countries, the Russians could be well on their way toward the development of atomic science, and through spies, espionage and treason have most of our knowledge on the subject. Therefore it would seem possible to some that these missiles might be of Russian origin.
This presents us, however, with another problem. Problems multiply when we contemplate them. One is, what would cause the massing of these missiles over certain areas of our own country where they would be extremely remote from their source or origin. If these missiles were developed within the boundaries of the Soviet Union, even in Mongolia, they would have to cross Japan, or at least the great Pacific wastes, and finally come here, almost half way around the world.
That such missiles traveling at such distances should be so completely controlled as to be able to move a little to the right or left when some airplane approaches them would be a little hard to believe in terms of guided missiles. That guided missiles might be brought within a reasonable scope of their objective, yes, but most of the reports of these projects indicate that the instrument was exceedingly sensitive in its reaction to almost any contact.
Well, we have again the dear old magnetic theories and other things to fall back on, but the fact seems to beg if the missiles were guided and came from another nation there would be a larger report of these disabled in various ways, disintegrated in mid air, or things of that nature. It at least offers an interesting thought, but it seems unlikely as a first choice that if these missiles contained living persons and are guided by crews, which might be possible with the larger ones, that they would be used experimentally by one nation on the opposite side of the earth from its own laboratory and expose them to a number of accidents which might dump them and their entire secret right into the lap of the enemy.
Of course, there is the possibility of detonation equipment intended to destroy the instrument in case of disability. The possibility of such instruments themselves being destroyed when they become disabled brings up the problem of a crew that would have to bail out or die with it, and even if the crew died with it, there would be wreckage of some kind, so it would seem such an experiment would be carried on over an isolated area. That it should be so secret and so wonderful that no one is allowed to know anything about it, and yet to have the testing field on the opposite side of the earth presents too many technical difficulties to me.
Another consideration we have to face is, that for whatever espionage we have operating in countries dominated by the Soviet policy to have no way of determining the work going on there, this seems a little strange, and it also seems a little strange that absolutely no effort has been made by any of our equipped military forces to shoot down or attack any of them. Nothing has been done to pursue and investigate them. Where any effort has been made to contact them, it was instinctively on the part of some individual pilot who thought for a moment of trying to ram the disk or something of that nature.
There is no program, as might be expected for those in authority being ordered to get hold of one of these disks. Even traveling at high speed over various areas a few potshots should have been taken at them. An alert could have been created, and still could be, by which some military emplacement would get a visible opportunity to turn anti-aircrafts on them, but no such thing has been done. Certainly a foreign country sending such instruments without our knowledge could not complain if we attacked and destroyed them. In some instances they have been reported as low as one thousand feet, in other instances as high as fifty, or twenty thousand feet, and at other places have been reported to be stationary for a considerable time. These reports indicate efforts could be made to bring them down if anyone wanted to do it.
There has gradually drifted out from the same sources a report that the facts about the saucers are known and those who apparently have the facts are not worried. I met one individual who has the facts, who was not talking. He did not tell me anything, but he was not collapsing from worries, in fact, he was playing bridge. Now with so heavy a cosmic secret as some folks would like to maintain, it does seem like he would have trumped his partner’s ace, but he was in good form. He was undoubtedly a member of the air intelligence and knew the answer.
The only conclusion that seems to be reasonable and carries a larger part of the story is that which is now beginning to drift to our contemplation, and that is that the flying saucers and the floating cigars are the products of our own research equipment, that the flying saucer is some type of research device, an experimental device for either defensive or offensive armament. It is the only practical explanation that exists.
This explanation violates none of the essential facts of the matter. So prosaic an explanation should not immediately discourage us. There is every indication that the secret of the flying saucer will come to the public in the relatively near future, that the time of useful secrecy is nearly passed. Whatever it is we will know, and whatever knowledge we receive will be received with mixed emotions by those who have already thought about it.
Some will accept it when the explanation comes, other will insist that the explanation is only a blind to cover up the fact that Venus, or Mars, or a Fixed Star has frightened us out of our wits. Actually, almost certainly the explanation will be the correct one.
Upon the point of explanation we can all speculate. Certainly I have no further enlightenment on it than anyone else has. If anyone really knows it would be his duty to refrain from any factual statement as long as the government or intelligence service desires that it should be that way, but without any prior knowledge, therefore without any restrictions of secrecy we can speculate within the bounds of the reasonable.
Our speculations may be as false as any other, but there are things that apparently are necessary in armament today, and we may be right to assume that that which is necessary to the balancing of the efficiency of our modern defense program would be the logical direction in which research would be carried on. We would be plugging weaknesses in our defense structure and also plugging weaknesses in our offensive program if we have to carry a program of offense into another nation’s territory.
The one thing that seems to me to have been a weakness, up to the moment, in nearly all the defense programs, and the offensive programs of other nations, is in the ingenuity for the discovery of such incredible instruments as the atomic bomb, the hydrogen bomb, the bacteriological bomb and the pollutional bomb, the difficulty with all of them is delivery. The only way we have of delivering them at the moment is the old traditional forms. We can deliver them by controlled rockets, which, however, as was proved in the blitz on England was not effective directly and against which various defenses could be created.
We can deliver them in high-powered, high-flying airplanes, in which one plane in a large convoy of planes carries the bomb, but against this we will find a rising tide of defense. No matter how far we extend the ceiling for anti-aircraft, the enemy can extend the anti-aircraft defense. We have the problem of trying to reach a destination with various kinds of material.
We also have another problem which relates to protection against types of armament, which we can well imagine will be developed in other countries, but about which our public knows nothing. This interval of efficiency between available means of accomplishing certain projects, and the more desirable means, could explain the problem of saucers. It could well represent a guided missile or an instrument with a living crew, capable of certain advantages in the delivery of armament, in the delivery of bombs, or the delivery of some forms of material.
They could also definitely be useful in development of observation in the discovery and checking of the activities of an enemy. But their construction, their formation, the way they operate suggest they have one of several possibilities, either they are going to be used for the distribution of rays or some natural force that could be the focal point, possibly some means of short- circuiting motors, or affecting or attacking various mechanized devices. or they could be used for the delivery of bombs, they could control or pilot robots, and function upon larger instruments and give the nation that has them complete control over the air.
That this type of thinking should be consistent with the projects as we know them, and with the temper and thought of our times, would seem to suggest that this is the general direction. There is always a possibility they may represent an entirely new dimension of cosmic rays or the penetration of some principle of energy by which we could have very definite advantages. There is a discussion as to the possibility of these devices being radioactive.
That situation has not been satisfactorily solved. There is the report that some are luminous, according to others, they appear to be either a silver light or white disk. Whatever they may be they are most certainly instruments for the defense of a land, or for the extending of the power of the military into the land of the occupied, and there is much to indicate the experimental work is being carried on in the United States.
The question as to why such experiments are permitted in areas with considerable habitation, where there is the possibility of one of these huge disks, some being two hundred and fifty feet in diameter, falling to the earth, injuring individuals, or destroying property, has caused a number of speculations against it being developed here. It seems we would be endangering our population in experimental research.
Yet most accounts report these devices contain some means for their own annihilation. What this means is we are not aware. As far as I know no one has seen one of them disintegrate and break up. There has been no wreckage to speak of, although one or two have reported it. That the project may be in experimental stage and completely harmless is also a possibility.
That it is extremely light, having the appearance of mass, but actually consisting of a small amount of any heavy material is suggested by the type of research. We have thought of it as containing motors and things of that type, but no report has been made that any such motor power has been used. It is possible the entire device in its experimental stage is completely harmless, and even if it should fall in a community would cause no more damage then a little consternation. We must therefore assume it is in an experimental stage and not equipped with whatever is intended to be used as a device of offense or defense.
That some of them are comparatively small might indicate they are involved in a new principle, either of motion or focus of energy of some kind. That they have practical utility is certain or else they would not be developed as a military project. These things have to pass very extreme groups of critics, scientists and research men before the army or navy would adopt them, and their utility must be demonstrated, or else a good probability of it, before the project begins. The project seems to have been running for several years, but is gradually emerging. The public mind does not seem to be unnecessarily anxious, and from everything indicated, the secret will soon be out.
But up to that time it is a very good example for those persons who wish to be thoughtful to assume the attributes, attitudes and policies of mature thinking, and show how intelligent human beings can approach the unknown, and also give those of a less stable and substantial type of mind an opportunity to control their own thinking and escape from a tendency toward the fantastic. If we approach these things reasonably we shall generally be right; whereas, if we approach them too dramatically we shall be wrong.
The device in all probability is some highly specialized scientific structure intended to advance research. The device itself may not be the project, but some means of testing for something else, but whether it is a means to an end, or is the end itself, it is almost certainly humanly guided, humanly devised, and is being advanced in the unfoldment of necessary research into the great and powerful potentials of the planet. Beyond that I think we shall simply have to wait until Uncle Sam decides to talk, and anyone who talks before that would be doing every one concerned a great unkindness.