Guest: Major Donald E. Keyhoe

WALLACE: Good evening, tonight we go after a fantastic story, the story that flying saucers from other worlds are visiting our planet, just as we are exploring outerr space with our own rocket satellites. Our guest is Former Mariner Air Corps Major Donald Keyhoe, who has the support of scores of prominent businessmen, military men, and some scientists in his campaign to prove that flying saucers exist. If you’re curious to know why Major Keyhoe charges that the Unites States Air Force is deliberately deluding us when it calls saucer stories the bunk, if you want to hear his own evidence that the saucers are real, and his reaction to the claim of two Americans who say they’ve spoken with men from Venus. We’ll go after those stories in just a moment. My name is Mike Wallace, the cigarette is Parliament.


WALLACE: We’ll meet Major Keyhoe in just a minute.


WALLACE: And now to our story. Major Donald Keyhoe is the director of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena. As head of this private group, interested in flying saucers, he’s repeatedly attacked the United States Air Force, and others, for claiming that flying saucers are apparently flight of fancy and not flights by Martians or men from the moon. Independent surveys show that millions of Americans do share his believe in these celestial saucers.

Major Keyhoe, first of all, let me ask you this; most people in the United States, in spite of the fact that I said that millions do believe, I think you will agree that most people in the United States don’t believe in flying saucers from outer space. They probably hold the view of columnist Bob Considine, who wrote that flying saucers are products of, for the most part, quote «pranksters, half-wits, cranks, publicity hounds, fanatics in general and screwballs» end quote. How do you feel about Mr. Considine’s charge?

KEYHOE: Well, I know where he got the story; he got it from Colonel Watson out at the Air Technical Intelligence Center in Dayton. In fact, the colonel went even a little further and he said that behind every sighting was an idiot, a crackpot or religious fanatic. That included a lot of high-ranking Air Force pilots, incidentally, and many airline captains, people who are qualified to see these things. But, he’s just following on Air Force policy.

WALLACE: Well now, you’re not suggesting that Bob Considine is in the pay of the Air Force; he’s an independent newsman with a considerable reputation.

KEYHOE: No, I mean the colonel, I mean the colonel. No, I have a only respect for Bob Considine.

WALLACE: In spite of the fact that he suggests that pranksters, half-wits and screwballs are responsible for the stories about flying saucers.

KEYHOE: Well, I wish I could show him, at anytime, a list of about 800 witnesses, some of the big names of aviation including, up to the rank of colonel in the Air Force. They’re still flying, and they’re still carrying passengers; they’ve never been grounded. They’re still guiding airliners in the radar men are, night after night in bad weather. If they’re screwballs and incompetents, why are they still on the job?

WALLACE: Major Keyhoe, where do you think flying saucers are coming from?

KEYHOE: I don’t know. There is an indication that they could be using Mars as a base. I don’t mean they originate right there, but every time Mars has approached us, in the last ten years, there’s been a noticeable increase in saucer sightings. And that’s been mentioned officially. In fact, the Canadian official project, on the basis of that, set up an observation station in Canada.

WALLACE: You say the Canadian official project, what do you mean by the official…?

KEYHOE: There was an official project called «Project Magnet,» and they set up an observatory at Shirley Bay to try to track these things. And…

WALLACE: What happened to the official project? You say there was a project.

KEYHOE: Yes. They ran for about a year and they had one sighting on the gravimeter, which indicated that something… a very large object had flow over there, but they finally decided that they were spending a little bit much money on that, I suppose.

WALLACE: For certain, they wouldn’t have thought that they were spending too much money on it, if they believed that that kind of phenomena existed.

KEYHOE: A lot of people on the project are still working up there on their own time and certain government officials have still kept the lid on the reports in Canada, just as they do down here.

WALLACE: What is your theory…? In other words, you suggest that they come from Mars or from other planets, from other solar systems, possibly, throughout the universe. Is that correct?

KEYHOE: Yes, and there’re a lot of scientists who’ve said the same thing.

WALLACE: What is your theory as to the kind of people who fly these… or the kind of beings who fly these saucers?

KEYHOE: Well, that’s speculation; Willy Ley said recently that it would be like the man next door, the invaders from space, and his reasons, may be good. But most of the top scientists have said that the odds are that beings from other worlds would not be like us; some of them would be. Dr. Howard Shafly, for instance, said that there probably were at least a hundred million inhabited planets in the universe. And the Mansel, who doesn’t believe in saucers, at all, says, that he goes at higher — even higher. And among those, by –there must, be- the law of averages. —, There is a certain number of planets that would be like the earth, and if evolution started the same time, you might have the same type of being.

WALLACE: What you think of the intentions of these people — for lack of a better name — of these people who are in these flying saucers?

KEYHOE: Well, there’s been no evidence of any hostility during the last 10 years, for what we call the modern face, there have been sighting before then. There had have been some accidents; air force pilots chasing these things; kept a man until he was killed chasing, one in ’48 and two pilots disappeared chasing one in ’53 over Lake Superior. But, I think those are just accidents.

WALLACE: Just accidents. Why don’t they try to communicate with us? What’s your theory about that?

KEYHOE: Well, I’ll follow some of the theories the Air Forces people have said… they suggested to me back in ’52 and ’53, at which time we were cooperating–, I had a lot of very good friends in the Air Force at that time– and the policy was to give out the information –. They were about to tell the people everything they had. And the theory was then that perhaps these beings were so much different from us that communication would be a very hard thing; they might not, for instance, have speech sounds like ours. That’s one answer. And another thing: they might not be able to exist in our atmosphere. We’re going to land on the moon, we’ll have to wear space suits, or else build air-conditioned buildings up there air pressured. And there could be lots of factors like that.

WALLACE: Well, do you think they’re down here, when we do see them, to look at us?

KEYHOE: I think that it’s probably a long-range survey.

WALLACE: A long-range survey?

KEYHOE: That’s right.

WALLACE: And yet, no attempt, as far as we know in any case, of communication with us.

KEYHOE: There have been claims of communication, but those, most of those, have been by individuals. The Air Force has not admitted that there’s ever been one and I don’t know… our committee hasn’t found any cases that we would accept as absolutly verified.

WALLACE: All right. Now, let’s go at it from another point of view, if I may, the Air Force point of view. They agree, undoubtedly, objects have been seen in the sky, but the Air Force has said time and time again –, this is a quote from Richard Horner, assistant secretary of the Air Force for research and development –, «All, but a small percentage of these reports — of unidentified flying objects — have been definitely attributed to natural phenomena that are neither mysterious nor dire.» End quote. Weather balloons, mirages, ordinary sky phenomena like meteors or airplanes themselves. What about that?

KEYHOE: I’ll answer that, but I’d like to make several points in doing it. In 1947, the Air Technical Intelligence Center at Dayton, that’s the top Air Force intelligence men and scientists under contract, sent the secret documents to the Commanding General of the Air Force, saying that whatever of these things were, they were real. In 1948, ATIC, the same group, sent a top-secret estimate to the Commanding General, Roy Vandenburg, that these were interplanetary spaceships.

In 1952, there was an intelligence analysis of the maneuvers of these things, as seen by radar, triangulation, radar photographs. And in ’53, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Air Force had a special panel of scientists meet at the Pentagon, to tell them what to do. And after they got through, this group said, «You don’t have proof that these things exist, not scientific proof, but you have a very strong circumstantial case.

We suggest you quadruple investigations, set up special observation posts and in the meantime release everything you got the American people.» Now, you’ve got four documents there; they’ve been sitting on all this time. Now, that… and they have been spending a lot of money investigating flying saucers. If they don’t exist, why the money… why did the intelligence team rush out every time there’s a sighting?

WALLACE: Now then, you have mentioned four documents that you claim exist. We’ve heard, in the past, that you have claimed that these documents existed. We’ve seen your literature in which you talk about the existence of those documents. So, we spoke with the Air Technical Intelligence Center at the Pentagon earlier with this week, and this is what we’re told officially by them, «Three of the four documents Major Keyhoe refers to, simply do not exist.

The fourth document does exist, you can have a copy of it, Mr. Wallace, and you can see that it doesn’t say what Major Keyhoe claims it says.» We have a copy of it and I quote to you from the copy. The Air Force document says just this, «The panel recommends that the national security agencies take immediate steps to strip the UFOs of the special status they have been given and the aura of mystery they have unfortunately acquired.

We suggest an integrated program designed to reassure the public of the total lack of evidence of inimical forces behind the phenomena.» And again, as I point out, secretary Horner says it’s simply ain’t so. Now, why? The point really at issue here, it would seem, Major Keyhoe, is this: Why do you believe that the Air Force says that nothing is going on? Why do you believe that the…? It’s a fairly serious charge that you make.

KEYHOE: I know it is.

WALLACE: You make the charge that the United States government is withholding from the people of the United States certain very important information. Why? What would their motive be for withholding that kind of information from us?

KEYHOE: Well, I’ll answer that, but I’d also like to show you some proofs that they are withholding it. The reason was given to me when they were working with me back in ’52 and ’53; it was first that they were afraid of hysteria. Remember the Orson Welles show-back… way years back, when he scared people in the hills with the…


KEYHOE: …idea of invading Martians. Then, they were also afraid that it would upset organized religion, that was a smaller factor, but there was some fear of it. Later, they were afraid that these accidents when the interceptors had chased these things and had been lost or had crashed, might be considered a proof of hostility. Now, I would never have put my name on anything if it were a matter of a personal opinion.

I’ve talked to, and read the reports of, hundreds of pilots and radar men, guided missile trackers, who’ve seen these things. And some of them are very more important names. The Air Force says that they’ve (…) this down to 1.9 percent, but you noticed the word current in there, they mean we are currently explaining.

Now, I have in my possession a copy of the special report fourteen, which is their Bible on this. In the back, it has a table showing that of thirty-two hundred and one cases they examined, nineteen and a half percent were unsolved. And they admit they still are unsolved. You add up what they’ve had since then; it makes over twelve percent of the reports and those are mostly from the best possible sources.

WALLACE: Well now, wait just a second; I’ll use your figures. The Department of Defense released an official bulletin on November 5, 1957, saying that from June of ’55 to June of ’57, a two-year period, just a fraction over two percent of all investigated unidentified flying objects had to be listed as unknown. Two percent, so that’s your one point nine…

KEYHOE: What’s the period, again?

WALLACE: ’55 to ’57. The rest were determined to have been balloons, airplanes, hoaxes, and a category about 12 percent, called insufficient information, which means that the report was so flimsy that there was simply nothing to check on. I must confess that they have… they’ve certainly shown me no classified material, but they have opened their files quite willingly to us in our preparation for this program tonight, and they’ve given us very convincing evidence, Major Keyhoe, that it is largely… I shouldn’t say largely, I’ll say ninety-nine and forty-four, one-hundred percent, a hoax. Now, you mentioned…

KEYHOE: A hoax?

WALLACE: Well, let… when I say a hoax…

KEYHOE: Are you saying a lot of good pilots, hoax?

WALLACE: No, no, no, not hoax, just… I thank you for correcting me, not just a hoax, but, let’s say, misinformation or sightings of objects which seem to be one thing but are, in fact, another. I’m glad that you corrected me about hoax, because it is, by no means, that much a hoax. But, you mentioned that Dr. Donald Menzel, who was a professor of Astrophysics at Harvard before. Now, I think you will agree that he’s one of the world’s most distinguished astrophysicists. Is that not so?

KEYHOE: I think there are others who are equally capable, but, do not agree with him.

WALLACE: He is one of the world’s most distinguished astrophysicists; though, I think we can agree on that. In any case, he stresses, you see, that pilots are not experts of —, that they, as well, as others, can see flying saucers when it’s only, to quote him, «the wrapper of somebody’s lunch moving around on the air» end quote. But, again, let’s come back to the point… the most important point, Major Keyhoe, and that is, why, why will the Air Force…? Why will the United States government withhold information from United States citizens? For what reason?

KEYHOE: Because they’re treating us like children, the way they did it with the H-Bomb at first, and the way they’ve been doing with other things. Now, I’m not attacking the United States Air Force. I’m attacking a small group in there that has been persistently keeping this from the public, just as they’ve kept other things. For a long time you couldn’t even mention the idea that we could be hit by missiles from submarines from the gulf or from both coasts very easily.

I knew that years and years ago and tried to get it out, but at the time was discouraged about it. Now then, you mentioned this… that this denial of these documents. Now, I’d like to tell you something that happened on the Armstrong Circle Theatre. I had requested that those points be in the script and I was discouraged from it at, first by their writer. Then later, some of our board of governors insisted that we had those points included.

So I said, «Either, I don’t go on or we have those in there.» They said all right. So the script was completely rewritten. Now those were in the script as it was first rehearsed. But when the second rehearsal, came along and the Air Force saw the mimeograph sheet there with Air Force representatives, but according to Armstrong’s writer said, they would immediately deny it on the air, even though it meant denouncing their own former project chief.

Now, the source for this is Captain Edward Ruppelt, who was the head of Project Blue Book for two years. And at that time he was considered good enough that he briefed President Truman on these things. He was the top man, rank didn’t mean anything, it was the experience that counted. All right, he says these things existed; he put it in a book which was cleared by Security and Review, in the Air Force.

On December 5, 1955, that was cleared. It’s in his book;. He has never been hauled in a court-martial. Now, I have here, and if you’d allow your camera to come in on it; this is a sheet from the script of the Armstrong Theater, which was deleted. This was crossed off, and I was told that I couldn’t say it on the air. Now that was censorship by intimidation. This can be matched up with the other sheets from the Armstrong Circle script and any typewriter expert will show you that… They ordered to take it out.

WALLACE: I’m certain that people believe you; the only thing is that, the next morning, I do distinctly remember reading a report by you, Major Keyhoe, to the effect that no censorship, no pressure of any kind had been put upon you.

KEYHOE: I’m sorry, Mr. Wallace, that… I know that statement almost by heart. I said that CBS and the Armstrong people were not to blame for cutting me off the air when I tried to mention the fact that at Senate Committee was working on the secrecy angle. I never mentioned this that night to anyone because I had promised that I wouldn’t say anything about on the air that… to the Armstrong people. It was taken out and I will do this: I will ask the United States Air Force to have the Marine Corps put me on active duty for a court-martial if that is not the case.

WALLACE: Major Keyhoe, I understand you have three new reports on file which in your opinion… you have them currently on file, they’re new reports. These, in your opinion, would convince every person in this country that flying saucers are a fact. Is that correct?

KEYHOE: It should convince a lot of people because of the names involved.

WALLACE: Tell us about it.

KEYHOE: I told your interviewer or in Washington that I couldn’t mention the names because they were too high; one of them is a top scientist in this country, whose name would be known to everybody.

WALLACE: But, why wouldn’t he want his…?

KEYHOE: Because he’s afraid of official ridicule.

WALLACE: He’s afraid of official ridicule?

KEYHOE: That’s right.

WALLACE: More afraid of official ridicule than a possibly alerting the country to a serious national danger?

KEYHOE: You’d be surprised how many people give us reports and they say, «Please keep my name confidential.» I’ll give you one report which came to us, the name has to be left out. In 1951 a UFO circled the fleet in Korean waters. It circled it at a high-speed and they launched several planes to try to get a close in on it. They got a radar lock on it, that is the radar was guiding the planes toward the object. This was picked up by radars on fourteen naval vessels. This object circled about… oh, for a half an hour more and then it took off at a speed way over an excessive a thousand miles an hour.

This report was certified and nine members of our board of government saw it, signed it, and agreed that they had seen it, and agreed to the content, too. There is another report that just came in from four top missiles designers or engineers at one of the big plants in this country. They saw an elliptical shaped object and two small round disk shaped objects flying with it over California, November 11, 1957, at a speed of at least five thousand miles an hour. These men are well-qualified; they know what they see, with broad daylight, not a cloud in the sky. There’ve been cases, even where the Air Force has shot at these things. Now, if there’s nothing there and, they don’t exist, why do they shoot at them?

You mentioned Mr. Horner. The day after Mr. Horner said that the Air Force was not concealing anything, Captain Gregory Oldenburg, a public information officer at Langley Field, refused to let an ad be inserted in the Langley Base Flier… their newspaper, which asked that anybody interested in UFOs, please communicate and form a little group. He said, «I must refuse to do this, because the dissemination of information on UFOs is contrary to Air Force policy and Air Force regulation 200 dash 2 and I have a copy of it here, in case you want to see it.

WALLACE: Well, Major Keyhoe, I must say that the Air Force tells us… they don’t question your motives, but they do question the accuracy of the good deal of your information and for that reason they say you have been, and were they to — in a sense –throw open, an invitation to all people who sight UFOs, to get in touch with them once again, they’d get all kinds of cranks, hoaxers and so forth. And, you see, they run down every one of these sightings and it has cost them a tremendous amount of money, to no avail over the past few years.

KEYHOE: That’s what they told you.

WALLACE: That is what they told me. Now, sir, in a moment I’d like to ask you this: in the past few years millions of flying saucers enthusiasts have become excited about the stories of two men, George Adamski and Howard Menger; both of them claim to have seen flying saucers. Menger claimed to have been given a ride in one, by some creatures from Venus. Adamski says he’s chatted with a man from Venus in the California desert. I’d like to get your reaction to those stories. And we’ll get Major Keyhoe’s reaction in just sixty seconds.


WALLACE: All right, Major, about George Adamski and Howard Menger, both men claim to have talked with men from Venus. Menger claims that he’s even taken a ride on a flying saucer. Do you believe them?


WALLACE: You think they are hoaxers?

KEYHOE: We do not accept any reports of these so called contactees without more evidence. We’ve asked them to submit their claims and take lie detector tests. We don’t throw them out, we simply say, «We’ll give you a fair chance.» I think that’s the least important part of the picture. The most important part is the weight of evidence from hundreds of competent people. I’d like to name a few: Captain Richard Case, American Airlines; Captain C.S. Charles, Eastern Airlines; Captain T. Kravitz, TWA; Robert Dickens, TWA; Colonel Don J. Blakesly, US Air Force, a wing commander. I could get down a list of, people who know what they’re doing and they’re still on duty, they’re still flying…

WALLACE: Major Keyhoe, what would you like to see done about flying saucers that is not currently being done? What steps would you like to see taken?

KEYHOE: I think the American people should write to their congressman and insist that open hearings be held by the Senate Committee… on the permanent committee on Government operations, which has been looking into this for six months.

WALLACE: An Air Force spokesman told us this last week, he said, «Members of the Senate Subcommittee have talked with us already and they have shown no interest in conducting any hearings on this issue.»

KEYHOE: I talked with the chief investigator within the last two weeks, I gave him a lot of information and I gave him data on one case, where an airliner was sent to chase one of these things and the passengers kept in ignorance of it at that time. That involves two government agencies, besides the Air Force, which has refused to release the report. And I’ll say this: if you were to get… if the Committee were to get Ruppelt, Major Fornay, several colonels, on that time, Major General Garland, who was on the project, there would be a big revelation because the Air Force is simply treating the American people like children. They don’t trust them with the facts.

WALLACE: You know here is an interesting, I think an interesting question, Major. The United States and Russia started sending satellites into the sky and we may be hitting the moon with a rocket soon, possibly Mars. You believe that creatures from other space have space stations on Mars? What’s going to happen when we start firing rockets at the moon or at Mars?

KEYHOE: That question has already been brought up. We expect to have a base on the moon within the next five years. It’s possible that there is a base on there. I don’t say that there’s any proof of it. I…

WALLACE: Is it possible we’re going to start an interplanetary war when we start sending our rockets to the moon and to Mars?

KEYHOE: In 1955, General Douglas McArthur said the next war would be an interplanetary war and we’d have to unite against people from other planets…

WALLACE: One last question, Major Keyhoe: Have you ever seen a flying saucer?

KEYHOE: I’ve seen and tracked on and radar, but I take the word of about 800 of the best witnesses in this country and abroad.

WALLACE: But, you yourself have never seen a flying saucer?

KEYHOE: I’ve just been a reporter, and a careful one.

WALLACE: Thank you very much, Major Donald Keyhoe. As you’ve just heard, the flying saucers controversy is deadlocked in contradictory statements and interpretation of facts. As for Major Donald Keyhoe himself, like most of us, he’s never seen a flying saucer, which may just make him like a mystic who’s never seen a ghost, but one must give him credit, he has much faith. In a moment, I’ll bring you a rundown on next week’s guest, one of the giants of the entertainment business.


WALLACE: Next week, we go after the story of a giant in show business. You see behind me now, he’s Oscar Hammerstein II, who’s collaborated on some forty musicals including the Rodgers and Hammerstein classics «Oklahoma!», «Carousel», «The King and I», and «South Pacific», the last of which is soon to be released as a Hollywood film.

If you’re curious to hear Oscar Hammerstein talk about the changing face of show business, about the suggestion that his books and lyrics are naive and stickily sentimental. And if you want to hear Oscar Hammerstein discuss the controversial social and political beliefs that shape his day’s work, we’ll go after those stories next week. Till then, for Parliament, Mike Wallace, reminding you to help keep the Red Cross on the job for us. Give generously. Good night.

ANNCR: The Mike Wallace Interview has been brought to you by the new high-filtration Parliament. Parliament! Now, for the first time at popular price.