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The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects [Paperback]

Edward Ruppelt

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Book Description

18 Feb 2008
Edward Ruppelt was a United States air Force officer. While working on a government study called Project Blue Book, he coined the term unidentified flying object. This term replaced the words flying saucer. The period when Ruppelt was with Project Blue Book was the time the best investigations into UFO's were completed. The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects was published after Ruppelt left Project Blue Book. The book is notable because it was, for several decades, the only account of Air Force UFO studies written by a participant. This book is essential for anyone interested in the history of the UFO sitings. Ruppelt discusses his time with Projects Grudge and Blue Book. His assessments of some UFO cases, including a portion he thought were puzzling and unexplained is a fascinating account of the period and the thinking of the man at the center of the investigations. . Ruppelt also reveals much insider material.

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About the Author

Edward J. Ruppelt (1923–1960) was a United States Air Force officer probably best-known for his involvement in Project Blue Book, a formal governmental study of unidentified flying objects. He is generally credited with coining the term "unidentified flying object", to replace the terms "flying saucer" and "flying disk", which had become widely known; Ruppelt thought the latter terms were both suggestive and inadequate. Ruppelt was the director of Project Grudge from late 1951 until it became Project Blue Book in March 1952; he remained with Blue Book until late 1953. UFO researcher Jerome Clark writes, "Most observers of Blue Book agree that the Ruppelt years comprised the project's golden age, when investigations were most capably directed and conducted. Ruppelt himself was open-minded about UFOs, and his investigators were not known, as Grudge's were, for force-fitting explanations on cases." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  52 reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE classic "Insiders" Account of early UFO history... 8 Feb 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
The modern UFO phenomenon started in America in the summer of 1947, when a prosperous businessman and private pilot named Kenneth Arnold spotted nine strange "disk-shaped" craft flying over Mt. Rainier in Washington State. His story made headlines across the nation, and the "UFO Era" was born. Over the next five years (1947-1952) many of the most famous UFO sightings in American history took place, and the US Air Force became concerned enough to launch a top-secret investigation of the sightings. Originally called "Project Sign", it concluded in 1948 that UFOs were interplanetary spacecraft from an advanced alien civilization. The Pentagon rejected this analysis, fired most of the staff, and renamed "Project Sign" as "Project Grudge", with the new mission being to debunk all UFO reports. However, in the early fifties the wave of UFO reports reached an all-time high (it has never been equalled since), and even some high-ranking officers in the Pentagon became convinced that SOMETHING strange was taking place in America's skies. So they reorganized "Project Grudge" into "Project Blue Book", and appointed a young but talented USAF Captain, Edward J. Ruppelt, to supervise the new, beefed-up UFO investigation.

From 1951-1953 Ruppelt presided over a kind of "golden age" of UFO reports. Under his guidance Project Blue Book objectively and thoroughly investigated each UFO report it received. Ruppelt was naturally skeptical of UFOs, but he also didn't dismiss the subject as "nonsense", and he insisted that his staff take the phenomenon seriously and remain open-minded when they were investigating UFO cases. As a result he wasn't afraid to label a case as "unsolved" or "unexplainable" when he or his staff couldn't find a "normal", rational explanation for a sighting. Ruppelt managed to investigate some of the most famous UFO cases in history, including the "Lubbock Lights" in Texas, which were seen by science professors at Texas Tech University, and which were photographed by a Texas Tech student. He also investigated the two famous UFO "movies" shot in Utah and Montana on old home-movie cameras. The Montana film was shot in 1950 by the manager of the Great Falls minor-league baseball team, and it showed two bright objects moving rapidly across the sky above the local baseball stadium. The Utah film was shot in 1952 near the Great Salt Lake by a professional Navy photographer. The film shows 12-15 bright objects (which bear a remarkable resemblance to the Montana film) flying in formation in the clear blue sky. The US Navy analyzed both films and, as Ruppelt writes, they judged that both films showed "genuine" UFOs - not birds, not planes, nor any other "normal" phenomena. Ruppelt also investigated the great "Invasion of Washington" in July 1952 when UFOs were seen above the nation's capital and were detected by radar at two airports in Washington. (The "Invasion of Washington" made front-page headlines across the country, and even President Truman called Ruppelt personally and wanted to know what was going on).

Ruppelt left the Air Force in 1953 for a civilian engineering job, and in 1956 - much to the displeasure of the Air Force, which had forced Project Blue Book to return to debunking all UFO sightings - he wrote "The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects". This book is still considered to be the "classic" account of UFO sightings in the late forties and early fifties, and it also provides a wealth of information about how the US government and military viewed the UFO "problem" during those years. Ruppelt is a good writer, and the book is well-written and filled with many interesting stories and anecdotes from pilots, scientists, military officials and others whom Ruppelt talked with about UFOs. Ruppelt himself was an "open-minded skeptic" and he doesn't include any explanations for what UFOs might be - he simply describes his investigations into the subject and his experiences as Project Blue Book's supervisor. I should add that in 1960 an "enlarged and updated" edition of this book was published with three additional chapters written by Ruppelt. In these new chapters Ruppelt is far more critical of the UFO phenomenon than he was in the original 1956 edition, and basically states that all UFO sightings are explainable in conventional terms. Needless to say, this "revised" 1960 edition caused considerable controversy when it was published, with some critics claiming that the Air Force pressured Ruppelt into adding the three new chapters. Others claim that Ruppelt's investigation of the weird New Age "contactee" UFO movement in California soured him on the entire UFO phenomenon; at any rate, I would recommend buying the original, "unrevised" 1956 edition for a better (and possibly more accurate) view of Ruppelt's experiences as the Air Force's chief UFO investigator. This book is an absolute "must" for any UFO buff or anyone who's interested in the early history of UFO sightings in America. Highly recommended!
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A UFO classic revisited. 14 April 2005
By Stephen Triesch - Published on Amazon.com
Originally published more than 40 years ago, this was the first UFO book I ever read, and it is perhaps still my favorite. The late Edward Ruppelt was for several years the chief of Project Blue Book, the Air Force's official task force for the investigation of UFO reports. In that capacity, Ruppelt was privy to the inner workings of the Air Force and to the realities behind official public pronouncements. Perhaps to the disappointment of some, Ruppelt provides no revelations of government coverups or fantastic secrets. Rather, he reveals an Air Force whose attitude to UFOs was most often one of ridicule and annoyance.

Ruppelt himself rises above official diffidence, and steers a middle course between skepticism and credulity as he describes the classic UFO sightings and UFO flaps of the 1950s, including the Lubbock Lights, the Mantell incident, the Washington, D.C. flap, and many others. One gains the impression that Ruppelt is a cautious believer in the phenomenon, if not an enthusiast or apostle.

The 1950s were an era when UFOs were still primarily lights in the sky, not bearers of insectoid abductors or intergalactic geneticists. But despite the absence of the up-close-and-personal horrors of modern UFO reports, Ruppelt's accounts will occasionally send a chill up your spine. I attribute this to the book's excellent writing, which exactly captures the mood and sentiments of the 1950s.

And, ultimately, that is what "The Report on Unidentified Objects" is: a period piece, a wonderful journey back to the innocence and freshness of the 1950s, when silvery disks flashed through the sky and inspired fear, awe, and wonder in a public waking up to the realities of the atomic age.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This reprint includes the three additional chapters added in the second edition. 19 April 2006
By Rebecca Janine Wise - Published on Amazon.com
Anyone with an interest in the subject of UFOs ***MUST*** read this book. This reprint edition preserves the original page numbers from the second edition so that the original work can be cited. The second edition includes three additional chapters of material so if you do decide to buy a used book make sure you find a second edition copy. Unfortunately, second editon copies are hard to come by which makes this second edition reprint all the more valuable a resource. Another nice aspect to this reprint edition is that the text is sharp and the paper is bright white which makes it very easy to read.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what are those things in the Sky outside my house? 7 Aug 2005
By Chris Nielsen - Published on Amazon.com
Rating: A

While the UFO phenomenon has died down in recent years, after all the publicity that The X-Files and shows of the sort generated for the forward thinking analytical scientist in us all, books of this sort are now a little easier to come by. This book is probably one of the best reads in my small collection of UFO and metaphysics books, and takes a very good and not too sceptical point of view on the whole UFO craze that began sweeping not only the United States, but the entire world in the late 1940's, and early 50's. Aimed to be more of a round up of gathered information, it is as we travel deeper into the book however that we begin to find that as the years went by on Project Blue Book, they devised new techniques to help prove whether these Flying Saucers were real or not. The only down side to the whole book in my opinion is the authors views and beliefs on whether or not he believes UFO's exist, which is presented in the last couple pages of this otherwise phenomenal book. Honestly, its almost like someone else wrote the last chapter, as Ruppelt has such an open mind throughout the whole project, but after having the project pretty much disbanded from his authority he takes an about face stance on the subject, which some might wonder was either his way to either confuse the leader, or make them think for themselves about the possibilites of what could actually be out there. By presenting us with all the useful information that they could possibly fit into this small but concise book, we are taken to all parts of the globe, but mostly throughout the United States, as the government seems to be trying to find the needle in the haystack awnser for just what in the hell is causing all of these bizarre occurences in our skys. Though the book is extremely old, and modern UFO books might be better (I'm not sure most of the UFO books I have are particularly old) no book I have cme across, has stated the facts for what they are and let the reader decipher for himself or herself on their point of view on the subject afterwards. An excellent read, that really expands your mind to look at all the possibilities out there.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential UFO History 19 Feb 2006
By David Sadler - Published on Amazon.com
Edward J. Ruppelt is no run of the mill UFO author. Ruppelt was the first 'chief' of the USAF Project Blue Book. Upon leaving that post and the service, he wrote this book telling the world what he and the USAF really thought about, and how they handled, the UFO phenomena. Ruppelt is the person who coined the phrase 'Unidentified Flying Object' (UFO) to filter out the negative and demeaning connotations that were associated with the term 'flying saucers.' This is a serious look at the UFO question in the early days from a man at the very center of the UFO investigations by the US military. I'm really surprised that I am the first to write a review for this most important and historic book.
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