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Remembering Gerald Ford - Congressman Who Called For UFO Studies

December 26, 2006 - Gerald Ford passed away. While he is most regarded as house minority leader and a short-term President in a difficult era, he also was involved with the UFO phenomenon in the 1960s while he was a congressman (and minority leader) from Michigan.

When the wave of sightings occurred in Michigan in 1966 Ford called for studies of UFOs. (See newspaper clip below.) These sightings were explained by Project Bluebook scientist Dr. J. Allen Hynek as due to "swamp gas." (After leaving Bluebook Hynek retracted this as a viable explanation.)

Article - Gerald Ford Calls for Congressional Hearings on UFOS

Ford's attention to the matter of UFOs resulted in consideration of UFO hearings by both the House Armed Services Committee and the House Science and Astronautics Committee. Neither committee decided to hold hearings. One member of the Science and technology Committee explained that he knew that the Air Force didn’t come under his jurisdiction. Ford then asked the committees if flying saucers were under their jurisdiction and received no reply. The Armed Services Committee on the other hand thought that there might be troubles holding hearings. It had been tried before and never took place. The House Committee on Foreign Affairs did take up the issue in response to the call for hearings made by Ford. It was not the full hearings that Ford had asked for, but it was an airing of the issue in public.

Later in 1968 The House Committee on Science and Astronautics did hold hearings on UFOs. The late Dr. James McDonald, late Carl Sagan, and Stanton Friedman were a few of the noteworthy ufologists who testified.

After Ford left office he was asked about his knowledge of UFOs through a letter from George Filer, UFO researcher and ex Air Force Intelligence officer. In response Ford state the following:

"During my public career in Congress, as Vice President and President, I made various requests for information on UFOs. The official authorities always denied the UFO allegations. As a result I have no information that may be helpful to you."