Defence Research Board – Meeting Minutes on Flying Saucer Sightings – April 22, 1952


Secretary: Mr. H. C. Oatway (DRB)

The Chairman opened the meeting with a brief reference to the more frequent occurrence of “Flying Saucer” sightings. The frequency and persistency of the sightings would tend to discount the theory of ‘hallucinations’. This, coupled with an aroused public interest in these sightings, tended to call for a more active stand on the matter.

At present, the gathering of reports was rather haphazard and the reaction of the Services was passive. It 1s thought that a more active and intensive effort should be made to obtain these data on an organized basis, and all reports investigated and analyzed. The objects of the meeting were then to determine if a more serious effort is justified and, if so, ways and means of implementing an organized effort.

Organizations such as the Observer Corps might be enlisted for the job of the sighting. If nothing else, this could serve as useful training for the Corps. An examination of the theories might prove useful in giving a lead to the best locations for sighting.

It was fortunate that proponents of the theories of terrestrial and extraterrestrial origins were in contact with the D.R.B. and their data could be examined first hand.

The Air Force representatives then briefly outlined the work done by the USAF up to a year or so ago. As these efforts consistently resulted in ‘nil returns’ their project, in so far as the press and public were concerned at least, had very recently, however, this investigation was re-opened but is now classified.

In the discussions whích followed, it was pointed out that precise and realistic detaíls were lacking in all known reports. If observers such as the Rangers, watchers on shipboard, and the Observer Corps, which incidéntally is really still in the paper organization stage, are to be enlisted some well-planned guidance would be necessary.

A small booklet illustrating typical celestial phenomena would result in more intelligent observation and eliminate many erroneous impressions. It was considered desirable to obtain information from U.S.
interviews obtained under proper interrogation, procedure, but to avoid the U.S. analysis of these interviews which was often unacceptable to some members, of this Committee.

Mr. Smith briefly outlined the extra-terrestrial origin theory.’ A plot of the frequency and timing of sighting related to the opposition of the planet Mars to the earth was displayed. Sightings occur at approximately six-week intervals, but the frequency is much higher during periods when the planets are nearing each other such as in the present month. The more reliable observations place these objects at heights of 100 to 300 miles moving with velocities in the order of 1000 – 2000 mph. Terrestrial bodies making ‘use of airfoils could not operate at these heights. Size and power limitations also negate earthy origins. The briliançe of sighting after sunset could be explained by reflections from the body at these altitudes of the sun’s illumination, or in daylight by frictional heating or other magnetic heating effects.

Considering the orbital velocities of the earth and Mars (18 and 15 miles per second respectively) and their nearest positions (e.g. 52,000,000 miles on May 8th) with continuous acceleration of 2 g for 3 or 4 days, these distánces could be traversed.

Mr. Langley stated that no electronic reports had been received of flying saucers. It was generally agreed that no electromagnetic radiations had ever been found which could not be traced to terrèstrial origin. If electronics are associated with these objects, their frequencies are outside the presently usable ranges. M. Smith then elaborated on the work of the ionosphere stations that had been asked to report any unusual findings, but with ‘nil returns’ to date. The Chairman outlined in broad terms the theory of terrestrial origin, namely a new type_ of aircraft (presumably Russian) as expounded by Mr. Frost of the A.V. Roe Company. This theory had some discrepancies, but the aerodynamics were worth following as, even if of extra-terrestrial origin, the bodies would have to follow aerodynamic theory within the earth’s atmosphere. Also, a new high-speed aircraft design might be evolved. The theories outlined should give an impetus to the flying saucer investigations.

It was generally agreed that a more active investigation should be undertaken. The Chairman believed
that the function of the D.R.B. should be mainly advisory as the collecting of reports could best be done by field organizations.

The representatives of. the Services agreed and will use their discretion in the choice of their more
suitable sections to use for observers.

It was decided that a Committee should be formed to give a lead in this ‘activity and to standardize procedures, etc. Accordingly, the following were nominated and agreed to act:

Dr. Millman (Chairman) G/C Edwards, Lt. Col. Vebb, Cdr Pratt, F/L Bradley, and Mr. Oatway (Secretary) this committee was to prépare a brief of instructions for observers; examine interrogation procedures
to get a consolidated end pertinent series of questions and to establish a standard method of recording and
indexing for subsequent analysis.

Finally, G/C Edwards suggested that the RCMP might prove to be a valuable addition as observers. This organization has the added advantage of having trained interrogators.

The Chairman thanked those present for attending and for their willingness to aid in these investigations.

26 April 1952.



Retrieved from: Government of Canada

Retrieved By: Ryan Stacey