Ufology in the Sensational Seventies: Saucers, Science, Space and Secrecy
By Dr. Raymond A. Keller, author of the international awards-winning Venus Rising book series, available on amazon.com, while supplies last
21 January 1975
Central Intelligence Agency Declassifies Historic UFO Document
Artwork Source: KUTV television station news broadcast, Salt Lake City, Utah, 21 January 2021.
Ann Druffel (1926-2020) was one of the early members of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), directed by Major Donald E. Keyhoe, United States Marine Corps (USMC), Retired, having joined the organization in 1957 and serving as one of the then few female UFO investigators for that group in Southern California. Residing in Riverside, California, and working by day as a social worker and therapist in Los Angeles, she spent her nights sky watching for UFOs and writing articles about all aspects of ufology for the NICAP UFO Investigator as well as many other periodicals dealing with the flying saucer mystery.
By mid-1969, another UFO group had started up in Quincy, Illinois. Called the Midwest UFO Network (MUFON), it was headed up by Walter H. Andrus, Jr., John F. Schuessler, Allen R. Utke, and other ufologists apparently unsatisfied with the then two major extant UFO organizations of NICAP in Washington, D.C., and the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO) in Tucson, Arizona. MUFON initially gained a reputation for credibility with its objectively scientific newsletter, Skylook, published in Stover, Missouri; and after a period of five years had eclipsed both NICAP and APRO in membership. The international scope of the enlarged MUFON organization prompted the leadership to keep the acronym MUFON, but simply change the group’s name to the Mutual UFO Network to reflect its new status as the preeminent UFO group in the United States, if not the world. MUFON is currently headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, has chapters in every state of the United States, and claims to have over 4,000 members worldwide. It holds an annual international symposium and publishes the monthly MUFON UFO Journal. While NICAP struggled on until 1980, by 1975 Ann Druffel had ceased writing exclusively for the NICAP UFO Investigator. She could see the “writing on the wall,” so to speak and joined up with MUFON, writing a monthly column for Skylook. She would eventually become an associate editor of the MUFON UFO Journal in 1980.
One of the major feats accomplished by Druffel and the others at MUFON was to secure the declassification of the Robertson Panel UFO Report by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on 21 January 1975 under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for the purpose of obtaining additional UFO material for a projected television documentary on varied aspects of the phenomenon. This action on the part of MUFON was considered a stepping stone toward a greater government disclosure on UFOs, which has, unfortunately, been carried out at an incremental turtle’s pace ever since.
Ann Druffel (1926-2020), pioneer female ufologist who in early 1975 helped break the CIA’s silence over the Robertson Panel UFO Report.
The Air Force brass quickly realized that they would require the help of the CIA if they were going to get anywhere in determining the true point of origin of the flying saucers or in the process of formulating any hypothesis as to their nature from the collected data at Project Bluebook. Druffel, in reviewing the status of ufology in the United States up through 1975, realized that the time had arrived for government investigators of the phenomenon to consider, “an open approach to scientific inquiry, adequately financed at that.” Druffel firmly believed that, “Now positive proof is available that the CIA is the agency directly responsible for the inane and inhuman ‘debunking policy’ used by the government agencies for far too long. This policy of ridicule and de-emphasizing was employed to embarrass UFO witnesses, deny reports and to confuse the American people about the importance of this intriguing phenomenon.”
Druffel would further note that, “In 1953, the United States Air Force had an immense problem on its hands. The 1,900 UFO reports which had flooded in during 1952 had choked military communications channels. Officials surmised that a potential enemy might possibly create a fake UFO flap to give them advantage while launching an unexpected missile attack against our nation.”
Of course, at the start of 1953, higher-ups in the Department of Defense were becoming quite concerned about the matter of UFOs. At the very least, they were starting to view the subject as one of “scientific interest.” To this end, a group of prestigious scientists was selected, and the Robertson Panel was convened at the request of the Director of Scientific Intelligence, with administering oversight authority granted to the Assistant Director of Scientific Intelligence (AD/SI, CIA).
CIA Assistance Requested
The Robertson Panel was officially listed as a “scientific advisory panel of the CIA.” However, the findings of the panel, as presented in the Robertson Report, seemed to lack any evidence of scientific credibility, at least insofar as the hierarchy at MUFON was concerned. “If anything,” opined Druffel, “the findings set back meaningful research on UFOs by twenty years, maybe more.”
The panel members consisted of Dr. H. P. Robertson, a mathematical physicist whose specialties included cosmology, relativity and wartime intelligence missions; Dr. Luis Alvarez, a nuclear physicist who, among other achievements, coinvented the ground-controlled approach aircraft tracking system, specifically designed for following and guiding aircraft in conditions of inclement weather; Dr. Thornton Page, astronomer and underseas weapons expert; Dr. Samuel A. Goudsmit, author of the theory of electron-spin; and Dr. Lloyd V. Berkner, the world’s then leading authority on ionospheric research and terrestrial magnetism.
These experts, along with unidentified CIA personnel who had gained first-hand field experience in working alongside Project Blue Book personnel investigating UFO cases around the country, came together on 14 January 1953 to analyze the phenomenon. In just four days they assembled in eight meetings. The so-called “results” that this distinguished body agreed upon were amended to the Robertson Panel Report as “Tab A” and included the following:
- That UFOs were not hostile and did not indicate a need for revision of current scientific concepts.
- That the emphasis on UFO reports would be a threat to the orderly functioning of the protective organs of the body politic.
- That national security agencies should strip the UFOs of their aura of mystery.
- That national security agencies should institute policies of intelligence training and public education (with respect to the UFO phenomenon).
The second results of the so-called “Final Report,” amended to the Robertson Panel Report as “Tab C,” still remain under review in 2021. Interestingly, the CIA has continued to refuse its declassification. However, in late 1966, the late Dr. James E. McDonald, a professor of meteorology at the University of Arizona at Tucson, stumbled upon an unsecured, loose copy of the Robertson Panel Report in the offices of Project Blue Book at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, where he was studying the UFO problem first-hand. When McDonald asked why the document was just sitting openly on top of a desk, he was informed by Project Officer Lieutenant Colonel Hector Quintanilla, Jr., that, “The Report had been routinely declassified under the twelve-year rule, under my own authority.”
McDonald, being the diligent scientist that he was, took extensive notes. He was the first to discover that the CIA was responsible for the “debunking policy” of Air Force during the period of 1953 through 1969. The visiting meteorologist requested a Xerox copy of the Report; however, before it could be handed to him by the Air Force Lieutenant Colonel at the Project Blue Book headquarters, an agent of the CIA entered the room, snatched the document and reclassified it right on the spot. McDonald was then warned by the CIA agent to not disseminate the information he gleaned from his review of the Robertson Panel Report. However, the scientist would later proclaim, that he felt that he should treat the Report as “open information,” insofar as it in no way seemed to affect the national security of the United States. He also believed that knowledge of the CIA’s early involvement with UFO research should be shared with other scientists in the academic community attempting to investigate UFOs as well as interested members of the media.
Not long after McDonald’s visit to Project Blue Book headquarters, the Air Force issued a “sanitized version” of the Robertson Panel Report. This was in response to a formal request by aircraft manufacturer John Lear. In this modified version, however, any mention of the CIA’s early involvement in UFO research was deleted. It wasn’t until January 1975 that a spokesperson for the CIA openly admitted, through the declassification of portions of the document, that it did, indeed, play some part in the establishment of a “debunking policy” on the part of the Air Force and other military branches.
Records Management Office
MUFON representative Ann Druffel, wrote of her great surprise when requesting a copy of this controversial report:
“While writing a segment of a projected television documentary, a segment concerning the part the Robertson Panel played in this history of UFO research in the United States, on a whim I wrote the CIA in November 1974, requesting a declassified copy of the Report. I was aware of the sanitized version, but I felt it was unsatisfactory and therefore ‘played dumb’ in writing for the declassified copy.
“It was a great surprise to receive a letter from a Mr. Robert Young, Records Management Officer, stating that the Agency could provide a declassified copy, consisting of 28 pages, for ten cents per page. The necessary $2.80 was speedily transmitted to the CIA; and in late January, the declassified Report arrived. However, though plainly showing CIA involvement, including specific names of CIA personnel and departments involved in the debunking policy, the Report was missing ‘Tab B’ and ‘Tab C.’”
The MUFON investigator went on to say, “I inquired about this, and Mr. Young wrote back on February 19th. He now signed himself, ‘Freedom of Information Coordinator.’ It is wondered whether the trouble the CIA was facing concerning illegal interference in domestic affairs had anything to do with this change of title?
“The 19 February letter confirmed that ‘Tab B,’ which was described in the Report’s ‘Index’ as a ‘list of personnel concerned with meetings,’ could not be declassified. However, he (Young) sent the sanitized version, which is already available in the Condon Report. But ‘Tab B’ of the sanitized version turned out to be a brief list of the evidence presented to the Robertson Panel during the eight meetings.
“Mr. Young also stated that ‘Tab C’ was still under review; that is, still classified ‘Secret Security Information.’ He stated he would notify promptly of the results of that review; but I have not heard from him since. According to the ‘Index’ of the classified Report, ‘Tab C’ was supposed to be a ‘list of documentary evidence presented.’ This, however, is covered in the sanitized ‘Tab B.’”
In reality, ‘Tab C’ constitutes the classified ‘Final Report’ of the Panel, which has never been made public, even to this very day. Perhaps Dr. James E. McDonald himself never even saw this ‘Tab C;’ but as he passed away in 1971, we will never know. According to the actual text of the Robertson Panel Report, ‘Tab C’ was the ‘Final Report.’ There are definite differences in the unclassified results listed in ‘Tab B’ with the classified results enumerated in ‘Tab C.’ But like the information pertaining to the John F. Kennedy assassination, it will probably continue to be reclassified as SECRET or higher in the interests of national security into the next few decades, at least. Demands put upon the CIA by ufologists and others interested in the affairs of the intelligence community have availed little so far in regards to the recovery of UFO information from their files. This doesn’t mean that we should give up, however. Once in a while, a kernel of truth manages to escape the clutches of this complex, overextended bureaucracy.
Below: According to the contents of this letter obtained in 2011 by paranormal researcher, William Lester, ten days before President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, he requested the CIA Director to divulge any information pertinent to the existence of UFOs that his agency held in its files.
9 February 1975
- S. Navy-Contracted Electronics Company Develops UFO Detector
From a San Diego, California, electronics company, Precision Monitoring Systems (PMS), comes a report that 35 members of their research team, consisting of engineers and scientists from various disciplines, have developed a delicate mechanism that detects UFOs. Called a “magnetometer,” the device is but one in a series of UFO detectors being planned by the Southern California, electronics firm. According to Neal Davis, then 38, the technical coordinator for PMS, it works on the widely accepted principle that UFOs can cause, when in close proximity, temporary local changes in the Earth’s magnetic field. Davis, whose specialty is physics, also works for the United States Navy Research and Development Laboratory in San Diego, who noted that one of the major problems that team members on the UFO detector project were running into, was that so little was known about UFO activity, due to the unpredictability factor in the occurrence of sightings. “For example,” explained the physicist, “if someone reports a great deal of magnetic activity at the time of a UFO sighting, it is hard to tell whether the alien craft generated it or whether it is normal.” One of the aims of the PMS project, however, is to build scientific equipment capable of helping UFO investigators make this distinction.
PMS deals only with interested, but serious, scientists from around the world. These are men and women of knowledge, to be sure, who want to probe deeply into the UFO phenomenon. “Our message is to spread the knowledge,” Davis told a reporter from the National Tattler (Chicago, Illinois), adding that, “We are not in the business of manufacturing this electronic equipment; although we would construct it if someone requested us to. But we will provide plans, drawings and the complete information necessary; and scientists can create their own UFO watch posts.
“Once we have got the cost down to the lowest possible figure and developed effective techniques and instrumentation, there is no reason why we couldn’t have a network of listening pots across the globe. Then we can start to build hard evidence of what is normal, and abnormal, when a UFO shows up.”
The National Tattler revelatory article, published in their 9 February 1975 issue, reports that PMS funding for the UFO detector project began with a $500 contribution from one benefactor. Other employees of PMS, however, believing in the project, have also contributed money and time to the project, even forming an association that solicits membership dues to help additionally finance the detector development program. Of this, Davis announced that while, “We haven’t found another group of scientists doing the sort of work we are, this is largely due to the efforts of our director, J. F. ‘Ben’ Herr, who got the thing moving and kept it moving. And we are developing our first set of instruments, the magnetometer and accompanying recording system, for about $500. We believe we now can turn to other problems in this very complex, highly scientific research project.”
Among the other projects being developed by PMS are the design of equipment to measure and record abnormalities in electrical fields and equipment to handle radio frequency interference. “In many cases of UFO sightings, we have received reporters about considerable interference with radio and TV sets and other electrical equipment. This equipment will help us pin it down. We suspect UFOs give off a very high output of ultraviolet light. That is why we will be working on equipment to measure that, too, as well as a gravimeter to measure gravity. In numerous UFO reports, there has been the possible presence of a very strong gravitational field.” Davis further elaborated, “In another case, when a UFO took off, a large area of Earth went upward with it for some distance. And we heard one report that a horse was lifted off its feet by the gravitational field of a UFO.”
Sign warns of “Moo-FOs” out over open range land in the Australian Outback. The antigravitational effects of flying saucers in the vicinity of range land has been known to levitate larger animals like cattle and horses. Photo credit: https://7news.com.au
A PMS press release announced that the organization would also be working to develop additional equipment that would investigate eleven other areas of phenomena associated with UFO reports. As to the difficult of this task, Davis remarked, “All we have to go on are verbal reports, going back thousands of years, describing some of the things that happened. Until the formation of PMS, nobody had ever got down to developing the equipment and techniques to detect, measure and record these many different manifestations. It is even more difficult, because some of the manifestations, such as anti-gravity, totally contradict our scientific laws. So nothing was done with the in the past.
“For example, we intend to develop tools and techniques to examine the odors, gas, possible X-rays, hard radiation, etc., given off by UFOs. But who knows anything about an odor given off by a UFO? This gives you some idea of the extent of our work.
“Our biggest job is to develop sensors capable of screening out normal Earth activities and recording only the unexplained, abnormal phenomena.”
PMS membership was limited to engineers, scientists and others involved in the technical sciences. “It’s very easy to find people who are interested in UFOs,” said Davis, but emphasizing that, “Our sole objective is scientific research.” Naturally, all at PMS were hoping that they would make contact with scientists and electronic design engineers to further expand the scope of their work. Lack of funds, however, was one of the biggest obstacles that PMS faced in accomplishing this. Insofar as membership dues were needed to sustain the PMS projects, progress was a little slower than Davis and others in the company would have liked it to be. “It has taken us two years to reach our present stage with the magnetometer,” chimed Davis, pointing out that, “The frustrating thing is that the technology is available and the equipment isn’t terribly costly; but time is the precious commodity.”
Nevertheless, PMS membership investment has been paying off. A magnetometer sold to a San Francisco buyer already resulted in the recording of one UFO sighting; and from that recording, much valuable data had been collected. Despite this intriguing development, however, no information on that case has been released. The close association that some of the company’s officers in other-contracted non-UFO-related projects with the United States Navy, casts a shadow of doubt on PMS’ ability to retain an overall, long-range objectivity with respect to the UFO phenomenon.
George Adamski Recalls Visit from Lady Orda
Lady Orda, the present Queen of Venus, first contacted California amateur astronomer and metaphysician George Adamski, on the physical plane, 20 November 1952 in Desert Center, California. Of course, there were many other encounters with Lady Orda and Adamski that never made it into any of Adamski’s UFO books; but rest assured, they occurred on a continuous basis.
One such encounter was relayed by Adamski to retired Danish Royal Air Force Colonel Hans C. Petersen when Adamski visited Petersen’s home Vejle, Denmark, during his European tour in 1963. According to Petersen, “Lady Orda came to Adamski’s house in Vista, California, just when the latter had set out in an inspection and repair of some of the conduits under the house. The various installations were quite a lot of trouble to Adamski, who was not a young man any longer; and he was just tinkering with them when Lady Orda arrived.
“‘Come out, George,’ she said. ‘Let me do it for you!’
“Adamski accepted the offer with thanks and crawled out, whereupon Lady Orda crawled in. It took her only a moment to fix up the problems, and she started to crawl out.
“When she was almost out, and other people had come to the house at the same time, Lady Orda ran her head against the house, with her beret torn off her head with the result that her long blonde hair to her shoulders was let down completely. She quickly withdrew under the house, where she got her hair rearranged, and came out as a young handy-worker coming in from San Diego to affect the repairs.
“Of course, women carpenters were a rare sight back in 1963, so some of the visitors to Adamski’s home that day suspected that she might be a Venusian, but said nothing to challenge her. After all, George himself taught that the Venusians live and work among us, going about largely undetected in their sundry missions to redeem planet Earth’s inhabitants.”
Various sketches of Lady Orda (a.k.a. Orthon) from www.unariunwisdom.com.
 UFO Contact: International Get Acquainted Program (IGAP) Journal, “By a Hair’s Breadth,” Vol. 5, No. 2, page 45, Vejle, Denmark, H. C. Petersen, editor.