Deserved or not, UFOs don’t get no respect. Even back in the heyday of Pax Americana. Consider, if you will, Albert Ehrke’s (obit 2004) recently released letter to the USAF from the files of Project Grudge.
For those of you playing along at home, Project Grudge represented the Air Force’s first steps investigating flying saucers, starting in 1949 and winking out by 1951. Grudge was notorious for a lack of inquiry into reports, favoring dismissing them as misidentified conventional objects.
Albert’s flip attitude in the letter didn’t help things.
Last year (1949-50) I attended Fullerton, Junior College where I met a young man who claimed to have watched a strange object about north-west of Fullerton. Its shape made him think of the silly flying saucers that people were having hallucinations about. However, he managed to get two different pictures of it, whatever it was.
I managed to get a copy of both pictures and I am sending one of them to you. I’d send both of them; but since there are no such things as saucers, I wouldn’t bother you with two fakes. One fake is enough! The one I am sending was taken with infra-red film and the other with ordinary film.
Anyway, I thought that our dear ol’ Air Force might get a big bang out of it as they throw darts at it… particularly as it looks like a “special research balloon…” Maybe you guys might puncture it, so I’d be careful the way you throw anything at it.
Oh, yes, the guy thought they came from (excuse me, “it”) from the general direction of Muroc Field, California.
If I might be of any “earthly” use to you, please don’t hesitate in calling me.
Yours for clearer skies,
Here’s the photo in question, in all its questionable glory. The response? None, evinced by the addition at the bottom of the letter:
Answer to the above is unnecessary. So ruled by Col. Hansen and Lt. Col. Bishop of this office. OIN-A
What’s the big deal? Muroc Army Air Field, now known as Edwards Air Force Base, has special significance for flying saucers. On July 8th, 1947, four officers and assorted personnel spotted flying discs that morning. Each account is consistent, and the objects, according to the eyewitnesses, weren’t weather balloons.2
You’d think a connection with Roswell would’ve lit a fire under their asses back in 1951. Now Albert’s dead, this scan is terrible, the infrared photograph is lost to the ages, along with the name of his college pal.
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