Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Thin Blue UFO Line

This 1965 letter received in response to my inquiry about access to official UFO information via the Syracuse, NY Police Dept. seems innocent enough, and it is. But, for me, pulling Chief Smith's reply out more than four decades later reminds me how different things were in the later seventies when Central New York experienced a flurry of impressive UFO reports. The ensuing confusion caused chaos amongst local and area law enforcement agencies, ill-equipped to deal with UFO sightings since the closure of Project Blue Book -- when witnesses were asked to report future UFO reports to local policing agencies.

Sometime way in the future, I hope to explore that period of time, but for now I just want to contrast Chief Smith's letter with the official bedlam that would grip Central NY years later, when police officer and sheriff's deputy tempers flared, altering careers and, indeed, causing law enforcement agencies to withhold UFO reports from the public. I doubt that Chief Smith would have approved, but he was long gone by the time the 1970s UFO reports exploded on the scene. Even The National Enquirer showed up for a story, which it obtained, while Dr. Hynek's Center for UFO Studies looked for facts -- and was denied. More on that at another time.