This article was published in the daily newspaper Hillsdale Daily News, of Hillsdale, Michigan, USA, on March 30, 1966.
Also check other files on the Michigan 1966 swamp gas story.
Air Force Claims Open Mind About UFOs, Denies Hush Up Efforts
Washington (AP) - The Air Force said today it has an open mind about unidentified flying objects - UFOs - and makes no attempt to hush talk about flying saucers.
A spokesman, asked about allegations that the Air Force tries to squelch UFO reports, said: "In the first place, we'd be utterly foolish to try to keep people from telling about something they've seen with their own eyes. Our job is to explain what is seen - not necessarily to change anybody's mind."
Retired Marine Maj. Donald Keyhoe, head of a group called National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, told newsmen this week the Pentagon has a top-level policy of discounting all UFO reports. He said the Air Force over the years has used ridicule to discredit sightings.
Keyhoe made the assertion while endorsing a suggestion by House Republican Leader Gerald R. Ford that a congressional inquiry into the flying saucer matter might be a good idea.
The Air Force has a special public relations office which answers thousands of letters a year from inquisitive persons - among them, school children, corporate officials, housewives, flying saucer club members and foreigners.
Last year it turned out 3717 replies to letters about UFO's. The count for January and February already has run over 800 requests for information or explanations, and scores are being received in the wake of recent Michigan sightings.
Some replies by the Air Force are practically a form letter which says that the Air Force has no pictures of flying saucers, that it does not censor or keep secret reports about UFO's and that Congress has not yet seen fit to conduct an investigation in the matter.
Other replies give specific explanations to people who report seeing strange lights or mysterious objects.
Virtually all are accompanied by an annual report of Project Blue Book.
This project, started in 1947, has produced explanations for 9,501 of a total 10,147 sightings reported through 1965.