Friday, September 21, 2018

Project A: The Short Life of a UFO Study

Dr. Warren L. Hickman, director of Project A
In 1952 there was an independent academic study of UFOs at Ohio Northern University conducted by Dean Warren L. Hickman and Eric C. Turner. Here's an early update on their progress from The Sandusky Register Sept. 27, 1952

OHIO NORTHERN STUDIES SAUCER SIGHTING FACTS 
Sept. 27 (AP)—An unknown object hurtled through the skies over Denison Tex., in 1878, and someone called it a "flying saucer." So flying objects are nothing new, says Dr. Warren Hickman, dean of Ohio Northern University and co-chairman of the school's flying saucer project. But the school wants to examine each instance of reports of the saucers. "Ohio Northern is not going out to prove the flying saucer is something," Dr. Hickman says. "We are going to examine the facts and let people know what we find. Persons reporting saucers will not be ridiculed and names will be withheld unless the observer consents to publicity. The university's engineering, chemistry and physics departments will analyze unexplained 'flying objects after 200 examples are available. 
Not Enough Sightings
There has not been enough sightings for proper analysis," Dr. Hickman asserts. However, he reports about 20 percent of the sightings reported to the university "cannot be explained away by ordinary procedure." And these unexplained phenomena have a general consistency— "a saucer-shaped object, flat on the bottom with rounded edges and rising to a slight dome on top." The color in these sightings is similar, all bright blue or green. Dr. Hickman also finds significance in that similar objects have been sighted throughout the nation, Canada and the world. 
More Looking
Historians trace the appearance of strange sky objects to 1762, Dr. Hickman says, with the first report in this country in 1873. But the rash of reports did not break out until the American people became "sky minded." Dr. Hickman says, with persons looking at the sky more than ever before, there is a greater chance the flying objects will be seen. And when they are seen Ohio Northern's flying saucer project hopes to determine what they are. 
The Sun and the Erie County Independent (Hamburg, NY) April 2, 1953

Despite the high hopes for the study, it came to an end after only two years. The Evening Independent (Massillon OH), Aug 4, 1954 reported on the closure of Project A.


The Evening Independent (Massillon OH), Aug 4 1954

In The Saucerian, Sept. 1954, Gray Barker reported on the demise of the project and how Dr. Hickman had addressed speculation that that  it was shut down by the Government.

The Saucerian, Sept. 1954

For more information on Project A, see the collection of 1950s articles hosted at Project 1947:
http://www.project1947.com/projecta/projaclips.htm

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