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FOIA declassified documents:

This is a secret document, declassified because of the Freedom Of Information Act.

Letter by Major General C. P. Cabell about the flying saucers, January 25, 1949:

C.P. Cabell:

In November 1947 Major General Cabell became chief of the Air Intelligence Requirements Division in the Office of the Director of Intelligence. On May 15, 1948, he was appointed director of intelligence of the U.S. Air Force. On November 1, 1951, General Cabell was named director of the joint staff in the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Lieutenant General Cabell was sworn in as deputy director of Central Intelligence on April 23, 1953.

C.P. Cabell was distinguished: Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal with oak leaf cluster, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal. He was distinguished to the following foreign awards: Order of the British Empire (Honorary Commander), National Order of the Legion of Honor, Degree of Chevalier (France), Croix De Guerre with Palm (France), Commander, Order SS Maurice and Lazarous (Italy).

The letter:

The letter is a summary on the USAF opinion on flying saucers in January 1949, to communicate to the Chief of the 4th Army. It speaks for itself; it tells the opposite of the position that the USAF held publicly.


Basic ltr, CSGID 319.2, 25 Jan 49, "Unusual Incidents"

AFOAI-DA 1st Ind.

Dept of the Air Force, Hq, USAF, Washington 25, D.C.

To: Director of Intelligence, General Staff, U.S. Army, Washington 25, D.C.

1. The following information is furnished for use in your reply to the Commanding General, Fourth Army:

  • a. Detailed investigations of all incidents reported to involve unusual flying objects during the period June 1946 to date have been conducted by a special project group of headquarters, Air Material Command, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The continuing efforts of this project are directed toward establishing the identity of each unusual object reported. Single or seemingly related incidents which appear to involve objects that might represent some unusual man-made device or activity are fully explored by both the AMC project personnel and other specialists, such as those of the RAND Corporation (formerly Project RAND).
  • b. Of some 210 incidents, approximately twenty (20) per cent have been explained. The majority of these involved misidentification of synoptic weather balloons. Others involved observations of airborne cosmic ray research equipment, bolides, meteors, and in one instance, the daylight observation of the planet Venus. Only two reported incidents were determined to have been hoax.
  • c. To date there has been no tangible evidence which would support a theory that any incidents are attributable to activity of a foreign nation. On the other hand, there is no evidence to categorically deny such a possibility, particularly since some incidents which occurred overseas could have involved foreign aircraft. The possibility of foreign devices becomes more remote in the case of domestic incidents, and would represent achievements which defy many well defined limits in aeronautical science. However, there are many incidents reported by reliable and competent observers which are still unexplained.
  • d. The Air Material Command of the USAF is continuing investigations of each unexplained incident. In addition, they are utilizing the consulting service of a number of agencies and specialists. Results are reviewed on a continuing basis and are used in formulating probable explanations for sightings that still lack positive identification.



C.P. Cabell
Major, USAF
Director of Intelligence, Office of
Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations

2 Incls.

The scanned document:

FOIA document

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