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The Legacy of 1952:
Year of the UFO

Published 2018. 120 pages.


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No year in the history of UFOs had greater impact than 1952. It was a year in which the leadership of the United States Air Force was inundated with incredible reports of unknown objects from credible and competent witnesses. They described objects that looked like nothing they had ever seen, performing maneuvers that did not seem to be possible, and at times over very sensitive places such as military bases and key technology sites.

Events culminated in the summer of that year, when these objects appeared for two weekends in a row the nation’s Capitol. Air Force interceptors and commercial airliners alike saw them, as well as people on the ground. Orders were given to shoot them down. The New York Times ran a headline article about them. President Truman demanded answers.

Air Force General John Samford gave a much-publicized press conference in which he attributed the main confusion not to not aliens from another world, but to weather. The press and public might have believed this, but few insiders in the military or intelligence community seem to have.

Enter the CIA. For the remainder of 1952, the Central Intelligence Agency got involved in trying to understand just what was going on. Senior analysts appear to have taken UFOs seriously. The end result was the infamous Robertson Panel, which imprinted the tradition of debunking UFOs not only to the public at large, but to the military and intelligence community itself. At least those segments of that didn’t have a need-to-know. It is a tradition that has lasted to this day.

Bruce Maccabee has been researching and writing about UFOs for nearly fifty years. He is one of the world’s leading experts on US government policy toward UFOs, and is ideally suited to write this definitive treatment of the most fascinating year of UFOs in American history.

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