Use ARROWS to page backward or forward


Page 6


attitude is, in fact, capsulated by Condon’s hypothetical case that would convince all scientists that UFOs are spacecraft from an alien civilization (Condon & Gillmor, 1968, p. 26):

The question of ETA (Extra-Terrestrial Actuality) would be settled in a few minutes if a flying saucer were to land on the lawn of the hotel where a convention of the American Physical Society was in progress and its occupants were to emerge and present a special paper to the assembled physicists, revealing where they came from and the technology of how their craft operates. Searching questions from the audience would follow.

By contrast, information concerning astronomical phenomena is typically accumulated more laboriously. Furthermore, the picture emerging from astronomical data may for many years remain inconclusive and perhaps contradictory. When one also notes that astronomical observations represent a passive activity, essentially different from the design and operation of experiments, one might conclude that study of the UFO phenomenon bears more similarity to astronomical research than to laboratory studies in the physical sciences.

The above contrast between the attitudes of physicists and astronomers has been overdrawn in order to emphasize a point. Quantum mechanics emerged from many years of patient and unspectacular studies of atomic spectra, and a very short run of radio observations were sufficient to establish the existence of a new class of astronomical objects now called “radio pulsars” (Hewish, Bell, Pilkington, Scott, & Collins, 1968).


The Condon Report, presenting the results of the Colorado Project on a Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects, does not give the impression of a tightly integrated research program. The total budget over a two-year period was $500,000, but the report lists 37 members of the staff project and a number of other individuals were consulted in addition. It is clear that the Air Force was receiving a very high return of scientific manpower for its money, even though most of the staff must have been contributing only a small fraction of their time to the project. One would have expected that such a large research effort would have been organized into teams led by the other principal investigators or by members of the full-time staff, but there is no indication that such a structure was set up.

Professor Condon is listed as the “Director” of the project. The following are listed as “Principal Investigators”: Stuart W. Cook, Professor of Psychology; Franklin E. Roach, Professor of Astrogeophysics; and David R. Saunders, Professor of Psychology; in addition, William A. Scott, Professor of Psychology, is listed as “Co-Principal Investigator”; all were at the University of Colorado. Mr. Robert J. Low, with degrees in Electrical Engineering and Business Administration, was the “Project Coordinator.” In addition, there were five “Research Associates”: Norman E. Levine (PhD, Engineering), Ronald I. Presnell