Available Balance
The UFOs Sightings, and Socrates’ Opinions

Document Signed Maxwell AF3 A / s 35112

August 8, 1958

In this document which bears the title UFO Program, the author gives a brief history about UFOs, and states that this history can help people better understand the problem of the UFOs sightings.

The author of the report states that  Flying Object Program started in 1947, June, when Kenneth Arnold claimed to have seen flying saucers near Mount Rainier, in the state of Washington. He knew the phenomenon as Flying saucers.

The sighting of flying saucers mentioned above was investigated immediately by the USA AIR FORCE and this project was called  Project Sign.  In 1949, the project changed its name, and was called Project Grudge, during which about 300 sightings were analyzed.

The report on these sightings was presented to the American authorities. From this report it appears that only 20% of the sightings would relate to the UFOs, while a rather large percentage would be essentially related to misinterpretations, simple atmospheric phenomena, or balloons,  radar malfunctions, mass suggestions, psychopathic persons, hysteria, and publicity seeking. The Department of Defense made known to the public these results, which were widely echoed in the newspapers of the time.  However, from 1951 there was an increase in UFOs sightings,  but  the Department of Defense  attributed them essentially to the “placed emphasis on UFO by press,” and  the project   changed its name, and was called Project Blue Book.


In relation to the increase of the UFOs sightings, General Samford (Director of Intelligence) directly intervened, and stated that “UFO phenomena were not of interplanetary origin,” and they did not constitute a danger to the U.S. why the phenomenon was rejected by a large number of UFO experts. As a result, General Samford instructed the CIA to train a group of experts, who concluded that UFOs were not a threat to the U.S., and that UFOs sightings do not presuppose any revision “of the current scientific concept.”

In 1950 the editors of Galaxy Science Fiction asked Willy Ley,  a “recognized authority” on the UFO phenomenon, “to open the Flying Saucer Season.” He wrote that, “If we say that the average number of witnesses per case was three, about 1,200 persons claim to have seen these objects. One has to assume, therefore, where there is so much smoke, there must be fire somewhere. ” He also added that the most common “explanations are: (1) that the witnesses saw phenomena which are known, but not known to them; (2) that the Saucers are a secret American development; (3) that they are spaceships from another planet.”

The fact is that the uncertainty pertained to the existence of UFOS is excessive and without an explicit criterion of truth. Willy Ley wrote in 1950, and today, after more than 70 years from the first sightings, the situation has not changed much . UFOs could be described as a kind of  radical uncertainty, and, despite their social, political and scientific importance,  Ufos problem was minimized or ignored by authorities in many countries. The most common expressions used for UFOS are:

We don’t know, I think, Bona fide, Disk-shaped, Fascinating, White light, Mysterious thighs, Paranormal, Ghost rockets, Strange glowing objects, UFO mystery and UFOs are real.

The opinions are quite far apart, and at this point I would say that the whole issue of UFOs is only a matter  of opinions: there is no question about it.  I do not know whether UFOs are real or not, but,  I know with absolute certainty that, according to Socrates, all opinions  are false but not true.

One day Socrates met Protagoras with whom he had a heated debate over human opinions. Protagoras argued that all opinions are true. Socrates replied that it was not true that all opinions are true, and that indeed they are all false ( from Plato’s Theaetetus).

“Prove it!,”  Protagoras said (he was furious for Socrates’ arrogance).

And Socrates, “if it’s not true that all opinions are false (that is, they are all true), so my opinion is also true: namely that, all opinions are false.”

His speech makes very good sense, but it’s a matter of opinion.




The documents on UFOs sightings  in Internet Archive. Document Signed Maxwell AF3 A / s 35112.


Willy Ley, “Flying Saucers, Friend, Foe or Fantasy?” Galaxy Science Fiction. October, 1950, Vol. 1, No 1, pp. 67-69. Willy Ley was “ vice-president of the German Rocket Society in 1927; technical advisor to Fritz Lang’s famous UFA science fiction film The Girl in the Moon […] and in 1935 he has devoted himself to research engineering for rocket development.” (p. 70).








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