Form: Research
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2006 16:18:44 -0500
From: Francis Ridge <>
Subject: How High Did The EOTS Go? Did Vandenberg See the EOTS?

Cat: N/a
Distribution: CE, SHG, NCP

Here is what Captain Ed. Ruppelt had written in his original manuscript, followed by what actually went into the book, "The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects". This is then followed by an analysis by Brad Sparks.

The Manuscript version:
"While the people working on Project Sign were pondering over Lt. Gorman's "duel of death," before they found out that his advisary was a lighted weather balloon, two things were taking place. One, the higher The Estimate of the Situation went in the Air Force chain of command the cooler the reception it got, and two, reports of radar picking up UFO's began to come in. How far this estimate got is something that I could never determine, but it got up into the high eschelons of the Air Force before it was batted back down. The reason for batting it down was that the conclusions, interplanetary vehicles, lacked proof. A group from ATIC went to the Pentagon to sell the idea to the late General Hoyt S. Vandenburg, then Chief of Staff of the Air Force, but had no luck. The evidence didn't impress him enough to make him decide to buy the interplanetary theory."

Released version:
"While the people on Project Sign were pondering over Lt, Gorman's "dogfight" with the UFO--at the time they weren't even considering the balloon angle--the TOP SECRET Estimate of the Situation was working its way up into the higher eschelons of the Air Force. It got to the late Hoyt S. Vandenburg, then Chief of Staff, before it was batted back down, The General wouldn't buy interplanetary vehicles. The report lacked proof. A group from ATIC went to the Pentagon to bolster their position but had no luck, the Chief of'Staff just couldn't be convinced."


Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2006 19:53:20 -0400 (EDT)
From: Brad Sparks
Subject: Re: Did Vandenberg See the EOTS?

I already addressed that in my EOTS analysis.  You can see Ruppelt originally wrote in the unpublished deleted portions of his book manuscript that:  "How far this estimate got is something that I could never determine."

The distinction must be made between the WRITTEN DOCUMENT versus an ORAL PRESENTATION.  Apparently the EOTS got rejected at "high echelons" of the Air Staff before ever reaching Vandenberg (no "u" in his name).  Vandenberg got an appeal of the rejection from a "group from ATIC" in Oct 1948 but denied the appeal.  His denial may have had nothing to do with the contents of the EOTS which he may never even have seen, but simply AF office politics where it was easier for him to avoid the controversial issue by a pocket veto of letting the lower official's rejection stand and refusing to change that official's decision.  In my reconstruction of events that original denial was by Maj Gen Laurence Craigie in late Aug 1948.  Craigie had become anti-UFO and in later years was vehemently a debunker.

A new draft of the EOTS with more backup documentation was prepared after Craigie was replaced by Maj Gen Donald Putt in Sept 1948.  AMC Intelligence evidently thought it could get another shot with Craigie's successor Putt who was indeed more reasonable but evidently unwilling to buck Craigie's original decision to reject the EOTS.

The "higher" up in the AF chain of command "the cooler the reception" it got.  That means no one signed it as approving or endorsing it.  The only way it could go "higher" above the Craigie-Putt level, Director of R&D, was if they authorized it to be seen above their heads.  AMC could not just go around them, as that would have been a potential court-martial offense of breaking chain of command after a decision had been made.  Presumably Putt told AMC they could go over his head, he would at least give them a fighting chance to argue their case.  And that's when I believe they may have made an oral presentation or had an in-person meeting with Vandenberg, without Vandenberg necessarily ever seeing the EOTS.

That would explain why Ruppelt was never able to determine how high the EOTS paper document had gone, but still thought Vandenberg had been involved in some way with its ultimate rejection.  You have to look carefully at Ruppelt's words here about the "group from ATIC" going to the Pentagon to "bolster their case" not bolster or push through their paper document ("ATIC" of course didn't exist yet, this means AMC Intell Dept until ATIC was created in May 1951).  Their "case" was for ETH.  Maybe they showed Vandenberg the EOTS document but as a very busy man he could hardly have read it, hundreds of pages' worth, while sitting at this meeting.  Maybe the AMC group didn't even show him the EOTS at all but simply argued their case and Vandenberg wouldn't buy it (which is what I think happened).  Maybe it never actually got as far as a meeting with Vandenberg but with some deputy or with his vice chief of staff.