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1948

United States, Louisville, Kentucky. Capt. Thomas Mantell lost his life on 7 January while attempting to chase a UFO, This is the first fatality on record directly connected with an UFO chase. Reports from private citizens were made to the Kentucky State Highway Patrol describing a strange, saucer-shaped flying object, 200 – 300 ft. diameter. It was also seen by several other witnesses, including the base commander, at the control tower of Godman AFB, outside Louisville. Official explanations concluded that he was chasing the planet Venus in the bright afternoon sky or a secret Navy balloon.

United States, Fargo, North Dakota. Lt. George F. Gorman of the North Dakota National Guard was approaching Fargo, flying an F-51. The tower called his attention to a Piper Cub which he saw below him. As he prepared to land, suddenly what he took to be the tail-light of another plane passed him on his right, but the control tower assured him no other planes were in the area. Chasing the light, he got within 1,000 yd. of it. It had been blinking but suddenly became steady and started to move rapidly with the F-51 pursuit. There followed a complicated chase in which Gorman had to dive on one occasion to avoid collision. Suddenly the light began to climb and disappeared.

United States, Houston, Texas. Eastern Airlines DC-3, pilot Clarence S. Chiles and co-pilot John B. Whitted, were on a regular run from Houston to Atlanta, At 2:45 a.m. they saw a bright light dead ahead coming rapidly toward them. They pulled to the left to avoid a collision. Looking back they saw the UFO go into a steep climb. The pilots described it as a wingless B-29 fuselage and said that the underside had a deep blue glow.

The CIA recreates a covert action wing, innocuously called the Office of Policy Coordination, led by Wall Street lawyer Frank Wisner. According to its secret charter, its responsibilities include “propaganda, economic warfare, preventive direct action, including sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition and evacuation procedures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance groups, and support of indigenous anti-communist elements in threatened countries of the free world.”

Media pundits say that the Republicans will win in a landslide. Truman refuses to believe the opinion polls and takes to the road, traveling more than 30,000 miles and making about 300 speeches. He criticizes the “do-nothing Republican 80th Congress.” Ronald Reagan supports Harry Truman for re-election. Truman is elected to a full term as president in one of the most dramatic political upsets in the nation’s history. Truman defeats former prosecutor and New York Governor, Thomas Dewey. Modern political polling is in its infancy, and the Chicago Tribune gets it wrong. The Tribune publishes, perhaps, their most famous banner headline, “Dewey Beats Truman.”

President Truman desegregates the US Armed Forces.

The British and Americans airlift food and fuel into West Berlin.

George Orwell publishes “1984.

Gerald Ford is elected to Congress. Representative Lyndon Johnson is elected to the Senate–he will quickly establish himself as one of the most effective and persuasive party leaders in memory.

The CIA corrupts democratic elections in Italy, where Italian communists threaten to win the elections. The CIA buys votes, broadcasts propaganda, threatens and beats up opposition leaders, and infiltrates and disrupts their organizations. It works – the communists are defeated.

General Robert B. Landry “I was called one afternoon [in 1948] to come to the Oval Office – the President wanted to see me…. I was directed to report quarterly to the President after consulting with Central Intelligence people, as to whether or not any UFO incidents received by them could be considered as having any strategic threatening implications ..” Landry was an aide to President Harry S. Truman.

General Putt changed the name of Project Sign to Project Grudge. Although it retained its 2A security classification, Grudge departed from the old pro-ET attitude during the early days of Project Sign.

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