The Inspector General Brief

Number 11, Volume XVI, 13 April 1962

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       Unidentified flying objects (UFOs) are defined in AFR 200-2 as any aerial phenomena, airborne objects which are unknown or appear out of the ordinary to the observer because of performance, aerodynamic characteristics, or unusual features. Activities initially receiving reports of aerial objects and phenomena must screen the information to determine whether a valid UFO is involved. If determined that it is an object such as a balloon, searchlight, astronomical body, missile, satellite in orbit, or aircraft - even though the type, purpose, origin and destination is unknown - it should not be reported as a UFO.

       Flying objects reported in the past have posed no threat to the security of the U.S. However, observations aid AF readiness - and since the possibility exists that a UFO reported may be hostile, or a new foreign air vehicle of unconventional design, it is imperative to report sightings rapidly, factually, and as completely as possible.

       The AF continues to analyze all reports of UFOs until they are scientifically or technically explained - however, some remain unidentified because report of sightings was not immediate, detailed, or objective. Because of the human factors involved, such as personal impressions and interpretations, a careful study must be made of the logic, consistency, and coherence of the observer's report. Particular attention should be given to the observer's age, occupation, education, and whether his vocation involves observation reporting or technical knowledge. Every effort should be made to resolve the sighting immediately, since the officer who receives the report initially is in a much better position to conduct an "on-the-spot" survey or follow-up than subsequent investigative personnel.

        A recent change to AFR 200-2 eliminates the use of AF Form 112, "Intelligence Report," when submitting written reports of sightings over 3 days old. Such reports will now be sent by letter direct to AFSC, Foreign Technology Division (FTD), Wright-Patterson AFB, where a final report will be prepared on each sighting after collection and analysis of data. There is no change in the requirement that reports under 3 days from date of sighting be reported by electrical transmission.

       Commanders should insure that their training programs for crew members, pilots and other personnel include current information on the UFO Program in addition to the requirements of AFR 55-88 for timely and accurate CIRVIS reporting. Queries from the public or private organizations on the UFO program should be referred to the Office of Information, OSAF, Washington, D. C.


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