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| In looking at some of the Project Blue Book files, and learning that late that Edward Ruppelt, the one-time chief of Blue Book, was probably anti-extraterrestrial as opposed to neutral; I came across what I think of as evidence of this bias throughout the history of Blue Book. The case in point is that of Sharon Stull who claimed that she was burned by a UFO on April 28,1964.
The story, as it appeared in the newspapers and in The A.P.R.O. Bulletin, was that Stull had returned to school after lunch and was on the playground with other children. She spotted an egg-shaped craft and
| Edward Ruppelt who wasn’t quite as
unbiased as we had all thought.
watched it for ten minutes or so. Those other children, including her sister didn’t seem all that interested in the object and continued with their games. Later none of them would confirm they had seen anything strange. Stull, returning home complained about a mild burn and trouble with her eyes. There were some other alleged problems but the medical evidence didn’t bear that out. She was taken to the doctor but there were no long-term effects of the burn. It isn’t clear if doctor saw burn or just gave her some suave to placate her mother.
The Lorenzens investigated in person but it seemed that the Air Force did not. The Lorenzens, who were predisposed to accept tales of alien visitation, had some real problems with this case. They wrote that the Mrs. Stull did most of the talking, alluded to a friendship with a local TV announcer that apparently didn’t exist and talked about their “family doctor” who they had apparently just met. Coral Lorenzen wrote, “The whole thing was preposterous and the Lorenzens were hard put to understand the kind of people who would attempt to perpetuate such a fraud.”
The Air Force wrote the case off as a hoax, and while I agree with that assessment, I am disturbed by their analysis. On the Project Card, they summarized the case by writing, “Extensive news accounts of sighting flying saucer with little green men. Witness 12 year old girl. Supposedly burned by ray guns from obj. Seen from school yard. Noon recess.”
This just shows where those working at Blue Book were on the subject of UFOs, alien visitation and conducting a proper investigation in April 1964. There had been no sightings of little green men (LGMs in the world of science fiction) and there had been no talk of ray guns used to burn the child. The suggestion was that she had exposed herself to some sort of radiation from the object resulting in what was described as a light sunburn.
Of course, the real point is that there doesn’t seem to have been an actual UFO sighting, none of the other children said that they had seen anything and the burn was gone (if it was ever there) before any of the investigators arrived on the scene. As I said, the Air Force explanation of hoax is probably the correct one, especially when it is remembered that the Lorenzens came to the same conclusion. It was a rare day when the Air Force and the Lorenzens agreed on anything but the Air Force analysis shows their bias in a way that is over the top.
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