Larry Hancock. Unidentified: the National Intelligence Problem of UFOs. Treatise Publications, 2017.
In this book Larry Hancock, a noted writer on the Kennedy assassination, examines the USAF’s approach to UFOs as a threat to national security, largely concentrating on the period up to 1952. While no new dramatic information is provided or conclusions reached, what Hancock’s study - which relates the USAF’s response to UFO reports in the context of developments in the cold war - does demonstrate is how much the study was centred upon the possibility of a Soviet threat.
At times there were reports which which heightened these fears and suggested that UFOs were spying on military bases and US atomic energy/weapons facilities. Nothing ever came of them and the alleged capabilities of the these 'craft' were far in advance anything the Soviets were known to be capable of. Added to that was the fact that there was no actual hard physical evidence for the security agencies to get their teeth into.
Once they had decided that UFO reports were not the result of Soviet activity they ceased to be of interest to the military, who really, one suspects, really couldn’t care less whether all the reports were due to misidentifications and misperceptions, or some were due to exotic natural phenomena or even extraterrestrial spaceships or something even more exotic. Their attitude was more or less, “if it’s not the Russians it’s none of our business”.
The only group of UFO reports that Hancock thinks were probably due to Soviet activity were the Swedish ghost rockets of 1946, which he suggests may have been captured German VI and V2 rockets.
This is not a book for those who want lurid tales of alien abductions and crashed flying saucers but should be of interest to anyone interested in the early years of the subject. It is generally well produced but could have done with an index. – Peter Rogerson