Edward Ruppelt—The Star Man

Edward Ruppelt

STARS IN HIS EYES

"This report has been difficult to write because it involves something that doesn't officially exist.—Edward Ruppelt, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects (1956)

Captain Edward James Ruppelt served as Head of Project Grudge / Project Blue Book, two of several official Air Force Investigations into UAP (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena), aka UFOs. Ruppelt's tenure ran from November 1951 to December 1953 (Blue Book ended in 1962). He is the man who is credited with our common use of the term, "Unidentified Flying Object (UFO / Yoo-Foe), which replaced the popular "Flying Saucer" term of the 1940's-50's (now replaced by the cooler, more serious sounding UAP—just ask Hillary).

I was introduced to Edward Ruppelt's fascinating life and work while doing research for a media project. My goal at the time was to utilize UFO mythology ("myth" being the operative word) as a plot foundation, while adding my own special spin on the subject. Although I really had no idea what I was in for.

From The Report On Unidentified Flying Objects (1956)

"It is well known that ever since the first flying saucer was reported in June 1947 the Air Force has officially said that there is no proof that such a thing as an interplanetary spaceship exists. But what is not well known is that this conclusion is far from being unanimous among the military and their scientific advisers because of the one word, proof; so the UFO investigations continue." — Captain Edward J. Ruppelt

My position on the world of Aliens / UFOs has always been one of total skepticism. I had read Whitley Strieber's book, Communion, as a teen-ager and aside from the nightmares that the failed horror-novelist turned abduction-proponent gifted me, I thought that the whole thing was utter bullshit. Particularly after glancing at Strieber's follow-up books, which made it patently obvious to me that he was not a reliable witness of anything. (Aliens like strawberry ice cream apparently)

More than 20 years would pass before I would find myself looking into the subject again. Although I must admit to being a fan of Giorgio "Ancient Aliens?" Tsoukalos and his gravity-defying haircut. 

In any event, Ruppelt wasn't the first thing on my radar. I had caught a few documentaries on YouTube before landing on one produced by Robert Emenneger and Allan Sandler titled UFOs: Past, Present, and Future (1974). The film was hosted by Rod Serling of Twilight Zone fame and played out like vignettes from episodes of his show.

It was an odd presentation, no doubt. And what stood out to me was that the whole film was made on the request of officials in Nixon's administration with the assistance of the Air Force, NASA and The Department of Defense. Both Sandler and Emenneger were very politically connected. And the Documentary featured only Government approved experts and DoD / NASA material (this was confirmed by my own research). According to Emenneger, Secretary of the Air Force (later NASA Deputy Administrator), Robert C. Seamans gave them the order to cooperate. In fact, former Tuskegee Airman, Colonel Robert Friend (who would take over Project Blue Book) is featured in one of the strangest segments in the film. (he was also involved in the approvals for Ruppelt's book)

There is much (much) more to this particular story (involving Walt Disney and others) but I'll save it for another day. Suffice it to say that our (crazy) Government had me wondering why the hell they would create a documentary about a non-existent, altogether wacky subject matter. And an excellent one at that. (the documentary, not the subject)

I had four plausible explanations:

1. Cold-War gamesmanship (psychological warfare plans aimed at the USSR using the subject of UAPs).

2. Psychological warfare aimed at American citizens and/or some other form of control mechanism and/or weapon development and/or psychological experiment using the UAP subject.

3. Insanity, gullibility, confusion or general idiocy at the highest levels of our Government (very possible today, not so possible back then)

4. Truth. At least some. And since you can't be half pregnant, this was in fact a partial admission of a total truth that our Government aimed to "slow-burn" disclose to us with a Push / Pull approach. 

Now, one film in a 240 year history is really nothing to concern oneself with. And the whole thing could have been a prank or just made to look like something that it wasn't. After all, I wasn't there. So...needed "the info", as Doctor Evil would say. And I went looking for it, against what was left of my better judgement.

YOO-FOE RED-PILL

UFO red Pill

"I gave briefings to the technical staff at the Atomic Energy Commission's Los Alamos laboratory, where the first atomic bomb was built...Many groups in the Pentagon and the Office of Naval Research requested UFO briefings. Civilian groups, made up of some of the nation's top scientists and industrialists, and formed to study special military problems, worked in a UFO briefing. Top Air Force commanders were given periodic briefings.

Every briefing I gave was followed by a discussion that lasted anywhere from one to four hours.

In addition to these, Project Blue Book published a classified monthly report on UFO activity. Requests to be put on distribution for this report were so numerous that the distribution had to be restricted to major Air Force Command Headquarters."Edward Ruppelt, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects (1956)

military-1.jpg

Like a good little mark, I took the Red-Pill and down the Yoo-Foe rabbit hole I went. But keep in mind, I also took a degree in Social Science (Research Methods) and a Joint-Major in Political Science and Middle Eastern Studios (McGill University) along for the ride. And I kept my mouth shut to just about everyone that I knew. After all, there is more ridicule (and ridiculous bullshit) associated with this subject than almost any other on earth. Ironic though, since about 55% of Americans polled (don't believe the polls!) agree that something "intelligent" (not us) is out there and 24% believe that it's already here. Still, I didn't want to end up like J.R. (Dallas, Season 13), did I?

And so I began at the beginning—quietly. I wanted to examine this subject prior to our current ability to fake the hell out of everything for hits / buzz / eyeballs / promotion, etc. And so I started with Ruppelt's book. Not only was The Report On Unidentified Flying Objects packed with information and had a position on the phenomena (albeit mildly pitched)—it was what the book's very existence implied that interested me (um, freaked me out). That is, someone at the highest levels of Government—in our military no less—gave the approval for it to be written. And there was actually a real division of the Air Force dedicated to this...craziness? Why would they do this?

There is a ton of drama, intrigue and mind-games revolving around the publishing (and re-publishing) of Ruppelt's book, but one thing is certain—there is no way that Ruppelt would have been allowed to disseminate this information had it been classified. In fact, (almost) the entire nature of Project Blue Book was public. So I was back to this issue of potential psychological warfare (on Americans, the USSR or both?) and the alternatives possibilities.

The most interesting and disconcerting part of Ruppelt's book are the statistics near the end. It was there that I saw the evidence that even our own Government felt safe to print. Within those funny numbers representing various UAP incidents & sightings, a few of which Ruppelt had discussed in the book, I discovered that at least from the perspective of the Air Force—something was going on. Something that could not be explained away. Simply put, expert eye witness accounts combined with radar and other objective data made clear that at least a small percentage of UAP sightings were legitimate "unknowns". And that according to the Air Force itself, the ETI hypothesis had to be considered as at least one plausible explanation.

Of course, all of this could be part of an elaborate hoax—a control mechanism of sorts, employed by our Government for a host of very good (or very bad) reasons. And in fact, even if the ETI hypothesis was true, that doesn't negate that the phenomena might also be used as a means to other ends. In fact, that eventuality is all but guaranteed

McMinnville _ UFO

But I wasn't convinced of anything other than that something very (very) odd was going on with our Government with respect to this subject and I wanted to learn more. Yep. So Morpheus, May I have another?

Then I discovered an oddity that made my Spider-Sense tingle. There were two editions of Ruppelt's book available. One published in 1956 and a new edition with 3 bonus chapters published in 1960—the same year that Ruppelt died. Of a heart attack. At 37. Which did seem just a little odd. A man who passed all those various physicals to be part of the Air Force, dead of a heart attack at 37? Well, just a small piece of information that added to the oddness of the oddities packed into this subject matter. And Ruppelt's place within it.

There is also this yet to be substantiated claim which was removed from a previous Wikipedia entry: "In an unusual manner, the date of the publication was omitted. The book, with the 1956 copyright note and the 1955 date of Ruppelt's Foreword, made the new edition appear to be the original edition. Only the dust jacket gives any hint that this is the second edition of the previous book."

And so I found a copy of this expanded version of the book and read the 3 additional chapters. And this is where things get really interesting. And really fracking weird.

HERE TODAY, GONE TODAY

Above: July 29, 1952 photo op showing from left, Captain R.L. James, Maj. Gen. Roger Ramey (seated, left), Capt. Edward Ruppelt (standing, center), Maj. Gen. John A. Samford (seated, right), Col. Donald L. Bower, and B.L. Griffing.

Above: July 29, 1952 photo op showing from left, Captain R.L. James, Maj. Gen. Roger Ramey (seated, left), Capt. Edward Ruppelt (standing, center), Maj. Gen. John A. Samford (seated, right), Col. Donald L. Bower, and B.L. Griffing.

Ian Fleming said, "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action". I always loved that quote. And clearly, so did Nick Redfern who wrote "Close Encounters of the Fatal Kind" (not recommended—sorry Nick). 

The truth is that many individuals associated with the topic of UAPs have died and/or disappeared under questionable (understatement) circumstances. But to prove that case and a possible external actor(s) involved in these incidents, I would need to write a properly researched paper on the subject. No time for that today. And I do not request that you take my assertion as a matter of faith. As such, let's just focus on poor Edward.

So our Yoo-Foe man here decides to re-publish his first book with additional chapters, as noted. But it's the content of these chapters and the style, tone and syntax that set my mind on fire. And then of course, he's dead a few months later.

Essentially, Ruppelt refutes his own thesis, undercuts the entire subject as being a "Space Age myth" (as I alluded to earlier), debunks himself and goes off into the sunset. Sort of. 

He ended the first version of the book with this: 

"Maybe the final proven answer will be that all of the UFO's that have been reported are merely misidentified known objects. Or maybe the many pilots, radar specialists, generals, industrialists, scientists, and the man on the street who have told me, "I wouldn't have believed it either if I hadn't seen it myself," knew what they were talking about. Maybe the earth is being visited by interplanetary spaceships.

Only time will tell."

The additional chapters added are:

19 - And They're Still Flying

20 - Off They Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder

21 - Do They or Don't They?

Suffice it to say that they don't quite read as if they're written by the same person. There is a change of tone. A modification of outlook, structure and as I said before—syntax. But due to the nature of the subject matter that's covered, it's entirely possible that Ruppelt was more snide, sarcastic and contemptuous. After all, he was discussing the so-called UFO Contactee (UFO Cult) movements of various shapes and sizes. And a few characters that he claimed were getting on his nerves. Like George Adamski and Donald Keyhoe

As such, this may indeed just be normal, everyday average mild-mannered (maybe) matured Ruppelt. A New Man, just a few years later with a change of focus and a change of mind. Except that I don't buy it. Nor do I think that he was rogue when he wrote the first book.

In fact, I have another theory entirely (based on this and other research).

I believe that the US Government has potentially been disclosing some "truth" here with a Push / Pull approach. They let something out, and then they reel it back in. Then out. Then in. And so on. And over time, an impression is created. An acceptance of sorts. A reality is slowly permeated into the so-called "collective unconsciousness" which is really just BS Marxist newspeak for those facts which are accepted—extraordinary as they might be—as reality, instead of fiction. Nothing unconscious about any of it. As a strategy, it's really the best way to go. And it doesn't require a massive conspiracy or even all that much deceit. 

In fact, here is the determination that our Government came away with after Blue Book was ordered cancelled by the Condon Report and various other UAP studies.

And I quote:

  1. No UFO reported, investigated and evaluated by the Air Force was ever an indication of threat to our national security; 
  2. There was no evidence submitted to or discovered by the Air Force that sightings categorized as "unidentified" represented technological developments or principles beyond the range of modern scientific knowledge; and
  3. There was no evidence indicating that sightings categorized as "unidentified" were extraterrestrial vehicles.

If you take a careful reading of the above, it doesn't take a master bullshitter to see how each of these statements might be true but open to a wide range of interpretations. 

  1. "No UFO...was ever...(a) threat to our national security". TRUE. UFOs don't seem to be a threat to National Security in the slightest. Aside from a few minor incidents
  2. This is the interesting one. "no evidence submitted to or discovered by the Air Force...represented technological developments or principles beyond the range of modern scientific knowledge;" TRUE again. Read that word—"principles". Principles that are at the foundation of modern scientific knowledge. So we can agree that there isn't a UAP / UFO viewed or recorded that violated the principles of scientific knowledge as we understand them. How the hell could they? The laws of physics stand. 
  3. "There was no evidence indicating that sightings categorized as "unidentified" were extraterrestrial vehicles." TRUE I guess? I mean, if they were identified, then we would have known what they were. The Air Force could both admit privately that they were extraterrestrial vehicles but also assert that there was no objective evidence of this fact in the sighting reports—at least to the public at large. One might need specialized knowledge to make the determination and clearance to receive it. 

I'm sincerely not trying to hunt for a secret meaning where none is to be found. But this is not the only example of "careful" language used by Government / Military with respect to this subject. Far from it. My point is that there is a not-so-subtle strategy that has been employed. An almost childish cat and mouse game, with regard to this subject. 

Of course, the language is not always careful. 

"behind the scenes, high ranking air force officers are soberly concerned about UFOs. But through official secrecy and ridicule, many citizens are led to believe the unknown flying objects are nonsense."—General Roscoe Hillenkoetter, (GCI) CIA Director (1947-1950)

One thing is irrefutable though. THEY took a serious interest. This subject was handled with care and attention. And that in itself presupposes that one of my earlier theories is true.

Clearly, the Air Force didn't investigate this subject to prove a negative, did they? Would they use the best minds in our country to study a phenomena in the hopes of demonstrating that it didn't exist? A little irrational as a policy, if you ask me. And certainly, not requiring years of investigations and an enormous waste of tax-payer funded resources. No. Something is here. It may not be ETI or any "other" form of intelligence controlling these objects but SOMETHING is going on. And the only way to figure that out is to employ a combination of deductive and inductive reasoning. That and a ton of research. Which I've done. And I'll deal with the conclusions somewhere down the rabbit hole. 

For now, I would suggest reading the original of Ruppelt's book. It's a seminal work in this field because it's both objective and was released (and re-released) with Government approval. And it gives a clear insight and (and lots of hints) as to what is really going on with the UAP phenomena. Plus—if all you know about this subject are the asinine episodes of Ancient Aliens or abduction horror films, you owe it to yourself to learn about a time when all of this was treated seriously. I will leave the story of how the UAP topic became the exclusive purview of society's lunatic fringe for another time. But it was most certainly not an accident.

Now, none of this means that the ETI hypothesis is correct. And my fourth option doesn't suggest this particular hypothesis is the only one on the table. All I am suggesting is that the Ruppelt Report is a very interesting piece of supporting evidence (in support of "something"). And that his death was very oddly timed. Point finale.

For the record, I don't believe that our men in the military would (easily) order an end to any man's life, especially one of their own—particularly to make a point about UFOs. Or to cover some fact up. On the contrary, suspicious and poorly timed deaths are not a great idea if you're trying to avoid attention. And I also have no reason to doubt that Captain Ruppelt was a very honorable man who would have followed any reasonable order that he was given, in the interest of national security. Still, Strange Things have happened and stupider things have been done. And then avoiding attention isn't always the goal.

Irrespective of whether all the chatter around our Star Man's disclosures and subsequent death is coincidence or "enemy action", there is a game being played here. A puzzle DOES exist. And I'm interested to see where it leads without getting into trouble myself, of course. And perhaps when we are gifted with a conclusion, we will be able to forgive the possible sins committed along the way.

Only time will tell.