Everyone is aware of various studies and investigations on UFOs undertaken in the past by a fairly large number of U.S. government agencies including the Air Force, CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Security Agency (NSA), the Department of State, etc., which at least to some extent have been released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). More murky, however, is the role played by semi-official think tanks and research institutions which conduct classified studies for the government and which are an integral part of the so-called military-industrial complex.
It makes perfect logical sense that at least some of these private organizations were contracted in the past to conduct research on certain specific aspects involving UFOs and extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI). We know for sure this is true in the case of the Brookings Institution, the RAND Corporation, and the Battelle Memorial Institute, but there may be other organizations which have not yet surfaced to public light. One problem with think tanks and private research companies is that they are not subjected to the same FOIA rules which apply to official agencies, unless their studies were published as part of government reports.
I’ve published in this page many of my “UFO Chronicle” columns which appeared originally in Fate magazine, and occasionally articles for other publications like UFO Universe, all from a period stretching between 1990 and 2004 more or less. This time, however, we’ll take a time trip all the way back to the early days of my career as a UFO journalist when I was publishing a weekly column for the supplement UFOs and other Cosmic Phenomena in the long-defunct New York City newspaper The News World, which appeared between 1981 and 1983.
Although I loved the subject, I was still hesitant to be typecast as a UFO journalist, so I used the pseudonym of A. Hovni. I deliberately chose a play of words combining my initials AH with OVNI, the Spanish acronym for UFO. Although the article was published almost 30 years ago, since it deals with historical documents, it’s still just as valid as when it came out of my typewriter. Other than correcting a few spelling typos and adding illustrations, I am reproducing it intact, just as it was written back in 1982.
UFOs interest think-tank scientists at RAND
Scientists wonder if UFOs are from space & what powers them
By A. Hovni
Special to The News World
New York City, April 17, 1982
First in a two-part series
When Mr. William Laub of Northfield, Illinois requested the U.S. Air Force in October of 1969 for information regarding a UFO Study reportedly made by the RAND Corporation, the Air Force’s Community Relations Division at the Pentagon responded curtly that, “The RAND Corporation has never made any reports on unidentified flying objects (UFOs) for the United States Air Force. If any reports were made by this corporation they were made on their own.” Similar enquiries with the RAND Corporation itself elicited a no more forthcoming answer.
One letter from The Reports Department indicated that “RAND has done very little research on the subject of UFO’s: therefore, no publications have been written on the subject.” Still another letter from RAND, date June 25, 1969, seemed to get closer to the truth. “We are unable to identify any RAND publication on UFO’s available for external distribution,” it said.