Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Dr. Leon Davidson and Blue Book's Bounty

Dr. Leon Davidson, a chemical engineer with a very interesting government history, died earlier this year, but in the fifties and sixties he was known particularly for his UFO research work. Aside from bringing out the worst of the CIA, when the agency responded to his UFO-related queries in ways worthy of a cheesy Saturday movie melodrama, unwittingly creating a conspiracy that didn't exist, Davidson is important in another respect.

In 1956, with no opposition from the U.S. Air Force, Davidson published 1,000 copies of his work, Flying Saucers: An Analysis of the Air Force Project Blue Book Special Report No. 14. He followed this with another 1,000 copy run in 1957, and in 1966 a commercial publisher, Ramsey-Wallace, put out 2,000 more copies.

Project Blue Book's Report No. 14 is a favorite of physicist and UFO researcher Stanton Friedman, who often makes the point that 21.5 percent of well over 3,000 cases referenced in that report remain unidentified -- and that's in addition to another 10 percent of cases slipped into the "insufficient information" category. That's a pretty hefty number from a government which claims eternally that UFOs are not a threat to national security, nor of any particularly enigmatic substance whatsoever. Dr. Edward U. Condon, who headed up the Colorado University UFO study (as mentioned previously, almost a third of even those reports remained unidentified) conveniently overlooked the implications of Report No. 14 as his own project careened toward a brick wall of controversy.

I'm not sure, but I suspect written communication from Dr. Davidson is a bit rare in the UFO community currently, so in the interest of history I'm posting his 1966 note to me about his work. I'm not sure exactly what issue relating to his monograph we were corresponding about, but I'll just submit the note and leave it at that. Read more about Dr. Leon Davidson at NICAP, CUFOS (see links above) and other legitimate web sites via a Google search, where I suggest you type in: leon davidson ufos to avoid others with similar names.