Friday, December 7, 2007

The Library of Congress and UFOs

With so many people consumed by UFO interest in the 1970s because of some rather exceptional reports, members of Congress, too, often exhibited concern -- or were forced to -- when queried by their constituents. In fact, by 1976-77, two of the hottest publications available from the Library of Congress' Congressional Research Service, each produced under the guidance of Marcia S. Smith, were The UFO Enigma and Extraterrestrial Intelligence and UFOs: A Selected, Annotated Bibliography.

Like many CRS publications, these were intended primarily for members of Congress, but once word "hit the streets" they became a must-have for UFO researchers, the media and the curious. In those days, even for these bulky, book-sized documents, there was no charge, you just asked your member of Congress for copies.

But aside from these historically impressive documents, the single-page letter accompanying them contained all the ingredients in that second paragraph (click to enlarge) to make one look twice. When Congressman William Walsh's office enclosed the letter with the two publications, it apparently had not been seen by most researchers or UFO organizations, and I quickly distributed copies of the page to interested parties. In his (former) UFO Research Newsletter, Gordon I.R. Lore, Jr. wrote, "In response to inquiries about UFO information, the Library of Congress' Congressional Research Service suggests UFOs may be ET."

Time and again, we know that numerous members of Congress have evidenced a sincere concern about the UFO phenomenon, and some of them were quite vocal, while others wanted no public attention whatsoever. The very existence of this letter, and the extensively researched publications it accompanied, indicated that UFOs were and likely still are more than a moot subject amongst congressmen and senators privy to information of note.