Afraid Neighbors Will Laugh? Just Tell it to Confidential Service for Flying Saucer Seers

ISGP section: UFO press reports index

Fort Pierce News-Tribune
September 17, 1957

NEA staff correspondent

WASHINGTON - (NEA) - You can now report seeing flying saucers without being tagged as the neighborhood nut.
That's one of the several unique services being offered by a new organization called the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena.
Another service is that your membership in NICAP will be kept a secret, just in case the mere set of signing up might start the neighbors talking. Already there are plenty of secret members, although there are some pretty impressive names among members who aren't afraid to have their affiliation made public.
The current yearly dues in this non-profit organization are $7.50. In addition to offering the choice of anonymity or publicity, the membership package includes a now monthly publication called "The UFO Investigator." UFO is the official Pentagon designation for "unidentified flying objects," or flying saucers.
The first issue, just off the press, reveals for the first time that a Civil Aeronautics Administration radar operator tracked four UFOs flying over California at speeds up to 3,600 mph last spring. The circumstances were similar to past radar sighting which could not be identified as conventional aircraft. The magazine promises to keep members up to date on similar future sightings.
The first issue also revealed that the former head of the U. S. Central Intelligence Agency, Adm. Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter had become a member of the board of directors of NICAP. Hillenkoetter recently retired from the Navy and is now with a shipping firm in New York. The CIA which he headed is Uncle Sam's top intelligence agency.
Another retired admiral, Delmer S. Fahrney, is a founder of the organization. Fahrney is a pioneer of guided missile development. Still another member is Maj. Dewey Fournet, a former investigator of UFO reports for the Air Force. Others include retired generals, air line pilots, college professors, ministers and businessmen.
Donald Keyhoe, a retired Marine major and author of three bestselling flying saucer books, is the director of NICAP and editor of the new magazine. He has made flying saucers a highly profitable career. In the process he has worked up a feud with the Air Force on the subject.
  It has been Keyhoe's contention all along that the Air Force has a big plot cooking to keep the real facts on saucers from the public. "The real mission of NICAP is to get the Air Force to open up its secret files on saucers so that the public can evaluate for itself just what there is to this whole thing," he insists. A service which Keyhoe and his NICAP offers to members and the public is an impartial evaluation of all saucer sightings. "We will seek to expose the fake, crackpot reports as well as give attention to those which offer new information on the nature of UFOs," Keyhoe says.
He doubts reports of competing writers who claimed to have ridden in flying saucers and interviewed passengers from outer space. He says a special NICAP committee will give such claimants lie-detector tests and analyze their reports if they will submit to this.
In offering to keep names of members secret at their request Keyhoe admits that just an interest in flying saucers could make a person the object of ridicule. He says many airline pilots have been ordered not to report any UFO sightings for this reason.
In a statement of personal policy on saucers, published in the first edition ot the magazine, Keyhoe says: "I consider that the evidence that the UFOs are real and are interplanetary machines is conclusive. But I am making every effort to be neutral in my approach to new evidence.
"The opinions of our special advisors and the board of governors will far outweigh my own personal convictions in final evaluations."