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were (in addition to CIA staff) Condon, Low, Hartmann, Ratchford, Dr. Charles Reed of the National Research Council, and someone whose name is suppressed in the released document. This unknown person presented a briefing on photogrammetric analysis he had carried out on a UFO case, and his briefing impressed Condon and his group very favorably. At that meeting, preliminary arrangements were made for contractual arrangements which would enable the unknown person to carry out analysis for the Colorado Project. It was agreed that that unknown person would submit his report on the analysis of the Zanesville photography through certain channels so that it would reach Condon. It is clear that the unknown person must have been Dr. Everitt Merritt of the Autometrics Division of the Raytheon Company of Alexandria, Virginia. As the reader will remember, Condon referred extensively to the work of Merritt when dealing with photographic evidence, including Merritt’s analysis of the Zanesville case. Hence, the CIA releases explain how Condon “became acquainted with Everitt Merritt” and why and how he “made arrangements with Merritt for his services.” During the May 5, 1967, meeting, Condon “indicated he wished to keep a channel open into our organization [CIA/NPIC].” It was agreed that Dr. Merritt’s report on his analysis of the Zanesville photography would be forwarded, for distribution to Dr. Condon, through an office, the name of which has been deleted from the document.
The facts that Condon and some members of his staff had secret meetings with some members of the Central Intelligence Agency, that the CIA contributed to the work of the Colorado Project, and that these facts are not revealed in the Condon Report, raise troubling questions. If Condon and some members of his staff received secret briefings from the CIA, did they also receive secret briefings from the Air Force and perhaps from other agencies? If they did receive secret briefings from the Air Force, can one accept at face value Condon’s statement (Condon & Gillmor, 1968, p. 8) that “The contract provided that the planning, direction and conclusions of the Colorado project were to be conducted wholly independently of the Air Force”? If there were no secret briefings, why was it necessary to arrange Air Force secret clearance for some members of the Project staff? Was there a “hidden agenda” for the Colorado Project? Would knowledge of the hidden agenda, if it existed, help one to understand the gross mismatch between Condon’s summary and the work of his own staff? Why did Condon attach so much more weight to the work of Merritt, whom he met through the good offices of the CIA, than he did to the work of Hartmann, who was a member of the staff of the Colorado Project? Finally, given the importance attached by the scientific community to the subsequent review of the Condon Report by a panel of the National Academy of Sciences, what is one to make of the presence at a meeting early in the project between Condon and his staff and CIA staff, of a scientist identified in the CIA record as “ex-director of the National Academy of Sciences”?
It is conceivable that these concerns are groundless, that there were no secret meetings other than those already referred to, and that these had no