My briefing covered the UFO subject in general, but highlighted the 1963 mini-flap, especially the part about Blue Book sending a special team from Dayton to investigate the S. Illinois sightings. Preliminary investigations are usually carried out by the UFO officer at a nearby Air Force base. In this case it would have been an intelligence officer from Scott Air Force Base at Belleville, Illinois, near St. Louis. However, this time Blue Book had sent a TEAM of investigators, including no less than the Project Blue Book chief, Lt. Col. Robert J. Friend.
The front page of the August 12th issue of the Wayne County Press had the photo and caption: "A TEAM OF AIR FORCE PHYSICISTS were in Fairfield over the week end checking last week's light-in-the-sky stories. Here they are reading about it all in the press...Lt. Col. Robert J. Friend (center), Capt. Hector Quintinalla, right and Sgt. Charles R. Sharp." This team TEAM had checked the Austin boy's automobile for radiation in the Wayne City Car Chase and investigated a few of the 60-70 reported incidents in the area that week.My briefing covered the key points of the concern about serious UFO reports, including the possibility of accidental war from misinformed air defense radar men mistaking UFOs for Soviet missiles during dangerous alert periods. But many years later, researchers located a document that mentioned a mysterious government project known as Project "Moon Dust" (Just Caus report). They discovered that the retrieval of downed space objects, including UFOs, was the responsibility of a "special unit" at Fort Belvoir, NJ., the 4602d Air Intelligence Service Squadron.
I was aware of the 4602d's participation for two reasons: Ruppelt had mentioned it in his book and Air Force Regulation 200-2 had also mentioned it. The latter was an Intelligence regulation titled "Unidentified Flying Objects Reporting". It dealt only with UFO-related questions: "The Air Defense Command has a direct interest in the facts pertaining to UFOB's reported within the ZI and has, in the 4602d Air Intelligence Service Squadron (AISS), the capability to investigate these reports. The 4602d AISS is composed of specialists trained for field collection and investigation of matters of air intelligence interest which occur within the zone of the ZI." I had assumed, however, that the "collection" part probably always referred to just reports and sometimes items that turned out to be IFOs, and that anything else was wishful-thinking. As it turns out, there was more to it.
On January 3, 1953, the 4602d (AISS) was created by Air Defense Command regulation 24-4. The designation of the "special unit" at Fort Belvoir changed a number of times. The 4602d became the 1006th AISS in July 1957. In April 1960 it became the 1127th USAF Activities Group. That designation became important when tracking the Project Moon Dust (Kevin Randle's full report) and Operation Blue Fly documents. Project Moon Dust was set up by the U.S. Air Force to locate, recover, and deliver descended foreign space vehicles (including UFOs). Operation Blue Fly was established to facilitate expeditious delivery to the Foreign Technology Division (FTD) of Moon Dust and other items of great technical intelligence interest (once again including UFOs).We had always suspected that Project Blue Book (the official AF UFO project) was merely a PR front, and there was evidence that some types of UFO project teams were active even after Blue Book closed down in December of 1969. But now we knew who some of these people were, and we had it from a reliable source: The Bolender Memo of 20 October 1969. Brigadier General C. H. Bolender wrote, "Moreover; reports of unidentified flying objects which could affect national security are made in accordance with JANAP 146 or Air Force Manual 55-11 , and are not part of the Blue Book system." The real responsibility for UFO reports was located in Langley, Virginia and not Dayton, Ohio. This also explained why some important case files were not found in the Blue Book archives.
One of my experiences that indicated there was somebody in the government officially still in charge of UFO reports occurred in 1983. For some time now we have known that something very strange and important was going on in October and November of 1975. We have proof that there were incidents that, to quote from released documents, "prompted the implementations of a Security Option 3 at our northern tier bases since 27 October." Sightings occurred at Loring AFB, Wurtsmith AFB, and then at Malmstrom AFB. In late 1983, an informant reported to me that there had been a major incident at NORAD during that same period which prompted a Security Option 5 alert and total "lock down" at "the Mountain" which houses NORAD. And some official UFO team from the Air Force investigated that incident.
The mystery of who they were is probably solved. Although it could have been Air Force OSI agents, the informant told me that the men who interrogated his group were from "the Air Force UFO division", six years after Blue Book shut down. It was very probably some offshoot of the 4602d AISS. But back in 1963 an Air Force reserve squadron which was a descendent of the 4602d was very interested in what we in NICAP knew about UFOs. But more importantly, we found that UFO investigations continued and in direct proportion to the events which may have, or was determined to have, an effect on national security.