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CIA UFO Files/Scientific Advisory Panel on Unidentified Flying Objects (SAPUFO, 1953)

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The Scientific Advisory Panel on Unidentified Flying Objects was a meeting of academics, intelligence agents, and U.S. Air Force and Navy personnel assembled by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's Office of Scientific Intelligence from 14 January through 17 January 1953 to examine evidence of UFOs and make recommendations on the matter, specifically in relation to intelligence and national security. Those present at the meeting included: H. P. Robertson (CalTech); Luis W. Alvarez (U. Cal.); Lloyd V. Herimer (Associated Universities Inc.); Samuel A. Goudsmit (Brookhaven National Laboratories); Thorton Page (Johns Hopkins); J. Allen Hynek; H. Marshall Chadwell (CIA/OSI); Ralph L. Clark (CIA/OSI); Philip G. Strong (CIA/OSI); F. C. Durant (CIA); Lt. Col. Oder (CIA/Physics & Electronics, OSI); D. B. Stevenson (CIA/Weapons, OSI); Capt. E. J. Ruppelt (ATIC, Air Technical Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson AFB); Lt. Neasham (Navy Photo Interpretation Lab); H. Woo (Navy P.I.L.); Maj. Fournet (Air Force Directorate of Intelligence); and Capt. Smith (A.F.D.I.).

The panel issued a report that ultimately concluded that "no evidence is available to indicate any physical threat to the security of the United States" from UFOs, that "no evidence is available to indicate the existence of use of any as yet unknown (to us) fundamental scientific principles", and that the whole topic of UFOs "is not of direct intelligence interest", but further noting operational interest insofar as UFOs may cause interference with air defence networks and there is the "possibility of a psychological offensive by the enemy timed with respect to an actual attack". This report was the subject of interest in early ufology circles - notably from Leon Davidson and Donald E. Keyhoe (NICAP) - as certain items in the report were, at the time, classified, raising suspicions of CIA involvement with UFOs, including silencing of witnesses. The report has since been declassified and released as part of the CIA UFO Files.

Reports