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Deep Secrets of a UFO Think Tank Exposed

(originally published July 2009)


Since the 1940's the U.S. government has quietly engaged one of its key defense and intelligence agency contractors as a secret UFO "think tank." New investigation reveals that the esteemed RAND Corporation is a "think tank" that has given far more than "passing thought" to things extraterrestrial.


RAND's hidden history of UFO involvement has been discovered to include work in policy analysis, evaluation of evidence, and in advising on the potential technological advantages achieved from UFO study. Telling connections have also been found between RAND and the Roswell crash event of 1947.



RAND Corporation was established in 1946 by the U.S Army Air Force as Project RAND ( for Research ANd Development) and is today registered as a nonprofit organization. It is funded through government contracts, university collaborators and by "private donors." RAND's primary agency clients include the CIA and DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.)


Headquartered in Santa Monica, CA the think tank maintains branches worldwide. RAND's stated mission is to "help to improve policy and decision making through objective research and analysis." Its work is officially conducted "for the public welfare and security of the United States of America."


Over 30 Nobel Prize winners have been employed by RAND. From physics to economics, the 2000 person think tank provides high-level information and evaluation to the U.S. government. Deeper review shows that RAND has conducted studies in such areas as weapons development, intelligence gathering and analysis and the design of sensitive underground installations for the USAF.


Far more concealed is RAND's intimate involvement in highly classified UFO study for the U.S. government:


RAND founder
Donald Douglas
General Curtis LeMay
General Hap Arnold

From its very inception, the men of RAND knew much about saucers.


RAND was conceived by Donald Douglas, CEO of Douglas Aircraft (and a protege of Dr. Jerome Hunsaker at MIT) along with two military officer luminaries. These officers carried with them significant "UFO histories." The officers behind RAND were Major General Curtis LeMay (the US Air Force's Chief of Development) and General Hap Arnold (considered the "father" of the modern U.S. Air Force.)


In May of 1948 RAND was separated from Douglas Aircraft and became its own operating entity. Among RAND's earliest government reports was the release of the enigmatically titled, "Preliminary Design of an Experimental World-Circling Spaceship."

LeMay expressed deep interest and concern about the flying saucer phenomena. More than this, LeMay himself was a keeper of the purported 1947 Roswell UFO crash debris.


This was revealed in a stunningly candid interview with the late U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater. Goldwater (a former U.S. Presidential Candidate, Major General and Command Pilot) was General LeMay's professional associate and close friend. LeMay's UFO involvement was related by Goldwater in a live worldwide broadcast with CNN's Larry King in 1994. The USAF had just issued its report that debunked the Roswell crash of 1947 as a Mogul balloon. Goldwater (who died just a few years later) informed King that he knew the truth to be far different.


He knew this, he explained, because in the 1960's he had approached LeMay about the crashed UFO issue. Goldwater – who no doubt himself held the highest security clearances – told Larry King:


"I think at Wright-Patterson, if you could get into certain places, you'll find what the Air Force and the government knows about UFOs. Reportedly, a spaceship landed. It was all hushed up. I called Curtis LeMay and I said, 'General, I know we have a room at Wright-Patterson where you put all of this secret stuff. Could I go in there? I've never heard General LeMay get mad, but he got madder than hell at me, cussed me out and said, 'Don't ever ask me that question again!" Goldwater never did.

Roswell Base Commander
William "Butch" Blanchard

LeMay was very well-acquainted with Roswell Army Air Field Base Commander William "Butch" Blanchard. Blanchard oversaw the base at the time of the Roswell crash event in 1947. It is believed that Blanchard helped issue the original press release on the crash, which prompted the famous resulting headline "RAAF Captures Flying Saucer on Ranch in Roswell Region." Blanchard's former wife, and daughter Dale, say that he was highly affected and visibly upset by the event. He repeated only, "Those Russians have some amazing things." Roswell mayor William Brainerd says that Blanchard told him, "What I saw was the damndest thing I've ever seen!" To Art McQuiddy, editor of the Roswell Morning Dispatch in 1947, Blanchard said when questioned, "I'll tell you this and nothing more – the stuff I saw I'd never seen anyplace else in my life."


Pilot Ben Games related in interviews (with this author and to reporter Billy Cox) that he had flown General Laurence Craigie (Director of the Air Force's R&D) to Roswell Army Air Field after the Roswell crash. Games said that General Curtis LeMay (the Air Force's Chief of Development) was well aware of Craigie's flight – and that LeMay and Craigie were in close contact about the event.


In LeMay's 1965 biography "Mission with LeMay", he speaks sparingly about the UFO

subject. LeMay of course discounts that there is a government coverup about UFOs. But he belies this with a brief and telling statement found later in the biography, "There is not a question about it: these were things which we could not tie in with any natural phenomena known to our investigators."


As early as 1943, fabled Five Star General Hap Arnold, of two units of military service, was investigating unidentified flying objects.

Found in Box 166 of General Arnold's papers (at AFHRC, Maxwell AFB) is detailed analysis from 1943 that assessed a number of sightings of "small, luminous, silvery discs" reported by B-17 pilots. "Foo fighters" were an anomalous aerial "ball-of-light" phenomena reported and photographed by pilots during combat in Europe in the 1940s. Hap Arnold was intimately involved in the study of the baffling phenomena.


In November of 1945, an Adjutant from Hap Arnold's office delivered a packet of sealed documents that related to analysis of the mysterious "foo fighters" to Arnold's friend, Jo Chamberlin of the American Legion Magazine. In a 1991 interview with researcher Jeffrey A. Lindell (of the Indiana Folklore Institute and a USAF retired Electronic Warfare Systems Analyst) Chamberlin said that he retained these foo fighter documents from Arnold and had never opened them again after he first read them in 1945. At the time of the interview, Chamberlin said he still had them but that he had promised Arnold he would never circulate them. Though Chamberlin wrote a generalized article on foo fighters for the magazine, he never circulated the papers Arnold had given him – and never revealed their contents on the General's analysis.


General Arnold established the 509th and (like General LeMay) he was closely associated with Colonel William "Butch" Blanchard – the Commanding Officer of the 509th bombing wing and the Roswell Base Commander at the time of the 1947 crash.


On July 7, 1947 (just days after the Roswell crash) Arnold is quoted in a UP story that stated, "General H.H. (Hap) Arnold, head of the army air forces during WWII, said today the discs could be a development of United States scientists not yet perfected." Of course during the period immediately following the Roswell crash, U.S. military were obfuscating by giving the public various explanations on the nature of the discs. But Arnold had known many years prior that U.S. scientists could not be the reason for them. He knew that they were seen by his own pilots operating in the European theater, as he had earlier reported.




An official Air Force document written October 12 1948 has been located by the historical research group Project 1947. Project 1947 is operated by respected researcher Jan Aldrich, supported by the civilian UFO research organization CUFOS and is known for its expertise in Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.


This 1948 document is very instructive about RAND and the early study of the troubling UFO phenomena.


The subject header of this document is "Request for Study by Rand Project" and is directed to the US Air Force Chief of Staff. The author of the document is Col. W. R. Clingerman, the Acting Chief of Intelligence. Clingerman was associated with Project Sign, the USAF's early official study of the UFO phenomenon. Clingerman seeks the approval of the USAF Chief of Staff: "It is requested that the special study, described in the inclosure be approved and that the Rand Corporation be authorized to establish a study of priority, consistent in scope and degree of treatment with the described requirements."


In a later paragraph of the document, Clingerman explains that he wishes RAND to: "Assist in the collection of information relating to unidentified aerial objects that may possibly represent spaceships or spaceship test craft and the technical information that includes the distinguishing design and performance parameters for spaceships is considered necessary." He adds "It would be valuable to this Command" to have RAND provide "further scientific clues that may assist in their detection and identification by RAND scientific personnel."


Clingerman cautions, "It is further requested that Air Materiel Command be assigned to monitor the project in conformance with Air Corps Letter 80-10, 21, July, 1948, Section 3, Paragraph 3."


We learn that RAND is held in high regard by the uppermost levels of government. It is an organization considered ideal for initiation of work on the UFO phenomena. It is felt that the "spaceships" had "distinguishing characteristics" that RAND personnel would be uniquely suited to provide technical information about – and that they could find "further scientific clues" about the "unidentified aerial objects." We also learn that RAND is to be "monitored" on this UFO work by AMC, in conformance with an "Air Corps Letter" dated one year after the Roswell crash. The document can be accessed at




Brief mention in extant literature notes that in 1966 RAND Corporation coordinated the photographic analysis of an alleged UFO photo. The "Zanesville, OH UFO" photos of November 13, 1966 were taken by local barber Ralph Ditter. Widely circulated at the time, the two photos appear to show a large saucer above the Ditter home. The RAND photo analysis determined that the object was a model only 3-4 inches in diameter and only 3-4 feet from the camera. The analysis was correct and Ditter later confessed the hoax as a way to please his curious daughter. Interestingly, most such analysis is officially conducted by the National GeoSpatial Intelligence Agency (formerly the National Photographic Interpretation Center.) RAND apparently has such capability as well – and has applied this capability to the UFO phenomena.




While working for RAND, senior analyst Dr. James E. Lipp wrote one of two scientific reports for the USAF's official UFO study, Project Sign. It was completed in February of 1949 and was classified. In the report Lipp makes an extraordinarily astute observation.


Lipp notes that by the Spring of the previous year there had been a total of five atomic bomb explosions. Lipp believed that these explosions could have served as interstellar 'smoke signals' – and that they would be a potential source of extraterrestrial interest. Of this RAND report even skeptic Curtis Peebles notes that Lipp's evaluation may represent "the first U.S. government sponsored study of non-human life in the universe."


Lipp continues that "visits from outer space are believed possible." Ultimately though, Lipp seemed to cautiously conclude that he did not consider most reported UFO events as described to be evidence of such visits because they made "no logical sense."



Stephen H. Doyle, scientist at the RAND Corporation, authored the intriguingly titled "Habitable Planets for Man" in 1964. Dole, based on his analysis while at RAND, believed that the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence was extremely high, even probable. In other reports he estimated the number of life-bearing planets (based on available information at the time) at 640 million!


It appears that RAND not only analyzed the UFO problem, but also evaluated the larger cosmological issues of our place in the universe, the likelihood of ET and how to determine and quantify the extent of off-earth life.

Andromeda galaxy


RAND analyst George Kocher authored an assessment report entitled, "UFOs: What to Do?" dated November 27, 1968. Kocher's paper was stamped "For RAND Use Only." It further instructs on its cover page: "Do not quote or cite in external publications or correspondence." Though known of by the UFO research community for some years, it was only in 2000 that RAND was forced to officially acknowledge the paper's existence and authenticity. Today RAND counters that it was an "internal draft" that was never formally considered. It is easy to understand why RAND would want us to think this is the case.


From a summary of this report we learn the author's conclusions about the phenomena: "Since WWII there seems to have been a drastic increase in sightings. We have enough data to know that the phenomena is unambiguously extraordinary and clearly inexplicable in modern terms." Chapters in the previously restricted document include, "UFOs: Historical Aspects", "UFOs: Astronomical Aspects", "Phenomenological Aspects", and its conclusion, "UFOs: How to Proceed and Why." The document is available for review in PDF at


We know based on the above-mentioned 1948 Air Force document that RAND was engaged in official research. In 1968, two decades on, RAND was still engaged in such analysis. And they likely continue this work today.


Michael Rich
Benjamin Rich


Rand's Executive Vice President is Michael D Rich. Mr. Rich is also Director of RAND National Security Research. A family man, Mr. Rich's own family history is very telling. His father was aviation genius Benjamin Rich. Ben helped to lead aerospace giant Lockheed Martin as President of Lockheed Advanced Aeronautics. He oversaw the ultra-secret Lockheed "Skunk Works" division where he spearheaded the development of the Stealth bomber. Ben Rich is universally acknowledged as "the father of Stealth technology."


Ben Rich stated some extremely revealing things about the reality and nature of UFOs before he passed. In a letter to his friend and associate John Andrews he replies to Andrew's observations about the UFO phenomena. Andrews had written a letter to Rich in which Andrews says, "I believe with certainty in manmade UFOs. I am tending to believe there are also extraterrestrial UFOs."


Rich, in a handwritten letter, replies to Andrews, "Yes, I am a believer in both categories." Andrews was a forensic illustrator and aviation model-maker. Before his own death, Andrews related that Rich went further in privately explaining that "there are two types of UFOs, the ones we build and the ones 'they' build." Rich told Andrews of his concern that the public should not be told. But Rich told Andrews he had recently changed his mind on this and that those "involved in dealing with the 'subject' could represent a bigger problem to citizens than knowledge of the visitors themselves." Just before he died, Andrews says that Rich confirmed to him that "items" were recovered at the crash at Roswell in 1947. Rich also told associate John Goodall, "we have things at Area 51 that you and the best minds in the world won't even be able to conceive for the next 30-40 years." In fact Rich gave numerous clues and hints about the alien reality to several before he passed.


The father of Stealth – who is also the father of RAND's current Director – gave his gift to truth and history before he died. He confirmed official government study of the UFO reality and the crash of an extraterrestrial vehicle to earth.


Battelle Memorial Institute
World Headquarters,
Columbus, Ohio

Prior articles by this author (available on this website's article archive page and in the book Witness to Roswell by Tom Carey and Don Schmitt, released in 2009) have shown that – like RAND – Battelle Memorial Institute was heavily engaged by government to study UFOs.


It now appears that Battelle metallurgists likely analyzed the Roswell memory metal retrieved from the 1947 crash. That conclusion was drawn from a "reverse engineering of information" of the literature on shape recovery metal; by the revealing statements of two U.S. Generals; through the confession of analysis by a senior Battelle scientist; and by establishing other connections.


But perhaps the most interesting of these telling connections is this: The Director of Battelle at the time of the Roswell crash, Clyde E. Williams, simultaneously sat on the Board of Trustees of the RAND Corporation!


Williams directed RAND and Battelle's activities at a time when both organizations were highly engaged in UFO study. Clyde Williams was installed as Trustee of RAND in 1948 (the year after Roswell) and remained a RAND trustee until 1963. Battelle is also known to have supported analysis of UFO sightings for the Air Force's Project Blue Book during William's tenure.



The line between "public" and "private" sectors is blurred when it comes to "things UFO." Such fuzzy, "quasi-public" organizations were of grave concern to a wise President and military icon. Dwight Eisenhower was instructive in his farewell to the nation. He warned that we should beware of the unchecked powers of the "military-industrial complex." And the Five Star General was right. For it is in complexes like Battelle and RAND that the alien truth resides, unchecked. Until now.

President Dwight Eisenhower
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