Physicist Says CIA Ordered Debunking

ISGP section: UFO press reports index

Los Angeles Times
October 8, 1966

TUSCON (AP) — The Central Intelligence Agency has ordered the Air Force to debunk stories on unidentified flying objects; a University of Arizona physicist charges.
Dr. James E. McDonald, senior physicist at the UA Institute of Atmospheric Physics, said the hush-hush policy has throttled any scientific investigation of the objects.
He made his comments in a talk to scientists in the department of meteorology.
In Washington, a CIA spokesman said Friday that "the matter of UFOs now is the responsibility of the Air Force, and the CIA has no interest either in building up or debunking any stories or views relating to them."
The spokesman said the CIA joined in studying UFOs in the early 1950s because at that time there was nothing to show that they did not originate overseas.

  Later, the spokesman said, all material dealing with UFOs was declassified and made available to scientists and other interested parties.
While doing research at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, where the Air Force filed its flying saucer reports, McDonald said he discovered the CIA order—with the notation that its role not be disclosed.
McDonald said the order was attached to a book of UFO investigations compiled by scientists and called the Robertson Report. Completed in 1953, some of the report was declassified a short time later.
But McDonald noted that only three of its four sections were declassified and when he tried to follow up his original research by seeking photostatic copies, it was suddenly reclassified.
According to the CIA spokesman, part of one report was withheld because it dealt with CIA operating methods rather than with UFOs.
McDonald said the persons who have reported seeing flying saucers, for the most part, are too reliable to be brushed off so lightly.
An Air Force spokesman in Washington Friday denied "categorically" that the Air Force was under any wraps from the CIA regarding the existence of so-called flying saucers.