There’s an old saying in the paranormal community warning would-be investigators that “when you look too deeply into the phenomenon, the phenomenon begins looking back at you.” A similar rule should probably be applied to anyone seeking information about UFOs or UAP from the United States government. When you try to pry information out of them, they start digging into your background as well.
One good historical example of this was uncovered by Lou Milano of i95 News in Connecticut recently. He was digging through some declassified CIA documents published by John Greenewald jr. at The Black Vault and noticed some internal communications regarding requests for information on “flying saucers” from Dr. Leon Davidson. Based on the conversations going on behind Davidson’s back, they were none too pleased with his snooping. The CIA was definitely checking the man out, but mostly just trying to figure out a way to make him go away.
It’s important to note that Leon Davidson wasn’t some kook sitting at home on his couch concocting conspiracy theories. Born in 1922, he had a PhD from Columbia University and worked at Los Alamos on the Manhattan Project, developing the first nuclear bomb. He was also an early innovator in the field of computing. But Davidson’s other keen interest was in studying UFOs. Using his background in working with the federal government, Dr. Davidson probed multiple government and military agencies looking for information on flying saucers what the government might be hiding from the public on that subject.
In the late 1950s, Davidson was volunteering for a center in New York State that tracked and recorded UFO sightings in that region. He was also publishing articles and pamphlets about the phenomenon. It was while he was working on one such article that he found a report about a supposed “space message” that had been picked up. The government claimed it was normal morse code traffic, but Davidson didn’t appear to agree. That’s when he contacted the CIA looking for more information. That didn’t go over well, as the declassified documents reveal. What follows is a portion of one of the CIA documents, transcribed by Lou Milano. (Follow the link above to read the rest and view images of the original, partially redacted documents.)
“Dr. Leon Davidson is on our backs again. He wants a verbatim translation of the space message and the identification of the transmitter from which it came. Your attention is called to a letter to Davidson from Wallace W. Elwood x Wallace W. Elwood, Captain USAF x USAF, Attic x Attic, dates 5 x 5 August 1957 x 1957, in which Elwood tells Davidson the message was identifiable as morse code and from a known US x US licensed radio station.“
“This was intended to satisfy Davidson that he did not x not in fact have a space message. He is not x not satisfied and explains that the characteristics of the sounds on the tape recording of the message are not x not morse-type.”
“Can you obtain from the attic the message translation, and the transmitted, shortly we’d like to dismiss this man once and for all. If you cannot obtain this information, Davidson is going to pressure us for permission to use Chicago office letterhead and use other US x US Government letterhead he has received in this matter in an article for some space magazine.”
As you can see, the CIA was already quite familiar with Davidson by that point and aware of his investigative activities. Rather than seeking to be helpful, the CIA officials refer to Dr. Davidson as “being on our backs again.” They go further, saying they would like to “dismiss this man once and for all.” They also seem to deride the idea that he writes for “some space magazine.”
I should note that there is one typographical error in the transcript of the CIA documents that gets repeated a couple of times. It’s a reference to what sounds like a mysterious office at Wright Patterson Air Force Base called “the attic.” That certainly sounded intriguing so I decided to check into it further. Sadly, when I asked John Greenewald about it, he informed me that the actual reference was not to “an attic” but to ATIC, the Air Technical Intelligence Center at Wright Pat. That dashed my hopes for a stunning breakthrough into what the Air Force was up to during the Project Blue Book days, but at least the mystery was solved.
The bottom line here isn’t so much about what Leon Davidson was investigating, but how the government viewed his activities. It seems rather obvious that anyone investigating the UAP phenomenon will draw the attention of our intelligence agencies sooner or later. If you happen to be one of those investigators, it’s a fair bet that a file already exists on you somewhere inside the bowels of the CIA, the FBI, the Pentagon, and God only knows where else. But perhaps that’s just the price we pay for seeking an explanation of the enigmatic craft observed flitting around in our skies.
Sleep tight, folks. I’m sure I just made all of you feel a lot better.