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There has, in fact, been considerable development in UFO research since the Colorado Project: at that time, APRO (Aerial Phenomena Research Organization) and NICAP (National Investigations Committee for Aerial Phenomena) were in existence. Since that time, MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) has emerged as an even larger organization for UFO research; CUFOS (Center for UFO Studies) has been founded by J. Allen Hynek; and CNES (Centre Nationale Atudes Spatiale, the French equivalent of NASA) has set up a small group (GEPAN: Group d’Étude des Phénomèmes Aérospatiaux Non-Identifiés) with the charge of studying UFO reports, most of which are channeled to GEPAN by the gendarmerie according to a well-defined and well-functioning procedure.

Two studies that were initially classified but have since been declassified deserve special mention. One of these was conducted by a panel comprising Luis Alvarez, Lloyd Berkner, Samuel A. Goudsmit, Thornton Page, and H. P. Robertson (chairman), with Frederic C. Durant and J. Allen Hynek serving as associate members. This panel was convened by the Central Intelligence Agency for a period of five days in 1953 to consider the question whether UFOs constitute a threat to national defense. The panel concluded that there was “no evidence that the phenomena indicate a need for the revision of current scientific concepts” and that “the evidence . . . shows no indication that these phenomena constitute a direct physical threat to national security” (Jacobs, 1975).

The other study was conducted by the Battelle Memorial Institute, under contract to the Air Force, from 1951 to 1953. It was primarily a statistical analysis of the conditions and characteristics of UFO reports, but it also included transcripts of several notable sightings. The report of this study (Blue Book Special Report No. 14), which was initially classified but subsequently released, contains a wealth of information and arrives at the notable conclusion that the more complete the data and the better the report, the more likely it was that the report would remain unidentified (Jacobs, 1975).

The Condon Report is not a committee report: it is not a document signed by a number of scientists, each making his own appraisal but coming–as a group–to a common position and recommendation. It is a project report, containing contributions from the scientific staff and an overview by the project director. This fact is crucial and helps one to understand the contents of the report.

Section2 CR I and CR II, the “Conclusions and Recommendations” and the “Summary of the Study,” are written by Condon himself. Condon’s summary is followed by six summaries of different aspects of the research, written by staff members, together with a summary of opinion polls conducted by the American Institute of Public Opinion, more familiarly known as the Gallup

2 Sections of the Condon Report are referred to as “Section CR I,” etc., to distinguish them from sections of the present article. Page references to the Condon Report are denoted by the prefix “CR.”