Estimate Of The Situation
In ufology, the Estimate Of The Situation usually refers to one of several evaluations performed by one or more agencies of the United States Department of Defense in connection with UFOs. The most significant estimate that we know of was done by Project Sign during early August, 1948. It concluded that UFOs are interplanetary spacecraft.

We only know about Sign's estimate because USAF Captain Edward J. Ruppelt who was once head of Project Blue Book, saw the physical document and revealed its existence in his classic 1956 book, The Report On Unidentified Flying Objects . Below are excerpts from his book along with unpublished notes that were acquired by researcher Michael Swords. Together they clearly indicate that during the late 1940s, the USAF task force assigned to evaluate UFOs concluded that UFOs are of extraterrestrial origin.

Unfortunately the Estimate of The Situation was rejected by Chief of Staff, General Hoyt S. Vandenberg. A few months later it was declassified and ordered destroyed. 1 It is somewhat curious that a document of such historical importance would be ordered destroyed. Many other less significant documents from Project Sign were archived and are now publicly accessible. According to Ruppelt, a few copies never made it to the incinerator, but if they still exist, it is not known where they are. Several attempts have been made to locate them, but FOIA requests have so far been fruitless and the USAF has consistently denied any knowledge of them.

However even if the Estimate were to be found, we are still only dealing with documents, and as such they are in and of themselves no proof of the ETH. Furthermore, the conclusion that UFOs are interplanetary suggests that the supporting research favored planets within our solar system. In 1949, science considered the most probable planets to be Mars or Venus. However the work of scientists, most notably astrobiologist Carl Sagan, has since proven beyond any reasonable doubt that neither Mars nor Venus possess any advanced life or technology, and that even if they once had, it must have been so long ago that no remnants remain. Add to this the specious claims of period contactees, and we can already hear the laughter coming from CSICOP.

Any documents from Project Sign that have been declassified and released to the public reflect the conclusions and recommendations that Sign was ordered to come to, not what those who did the study actually believed. Lastly, the released documents could not in-themselves be part of the original Estimate. Their appearance does not match the description provided by Edward J. Ruppelt, most conspicuously, they are not printed on legal sized paper and the report cover is not black. Proving this point is an actual microfiche image of the Project Sign folder released by the USAF to the NARA archives ( see below ).

Published Excerpt
"In intelligence, if you have something to say about some vital problem you write a report that is known as an 'Estimate of the Situation.' A few days after the DC-3 was buzzed, the people at ATIC decided that the time had arrived to make an Estimate of the Situation. The situation was the UFO's; the estimate was that they were interplanetary!
It was a rather thick document with a black cover and it was printed on legal-sized paper. Stamped across the front were the words TOP SECRET.
It contained the Air Force's analysis of many of the incidents I have told you about plus many similar ones. All of them had come from scientists, pilots, and other equally credible observers, and each one was an unknown."
Unpublished Segment
As documented proof, many unexplained sightings were quoted. The original UFO sighting by Kenneth Arnold; the series of sightings from the secret Air Force Test Center, MUROC AFB; the F-51 pilot's observation of a formation of spheres near Lake Mead; the report of an F-80 pilot who saw two round objects diving toward the ground near the Grand Canyon; and a report by the pilot an Idaho National Guard T-6 trainer who saw a violently maneuvering black object.
As further documentation, the report quoted an interview with an Air Force major from Rapid City AFB (now Ellsworth AFB) who saw twelve UFO's flying a tight diamond formation. When he first saw them they were high but soon they went into a fantastically high-speed dive, leveled out, made a perfect formation turn, and climbed at a 30 to 40 degree angle, accelerating all the time. The UFO's were oval-shaped and brilliant yellowish-white.
Also included was one of the reports from the AEC's Los Alamos Laboratory. The incident occurred at 9:40 A.M. on September 23, 1948. A group of people were waiting for an airplane at the landing strip in Los Alamos when one of them noticed something glint in the sun. It was a flat, circular object, high in the northern sky. The appearance and relative size was the same as a dime held edgewise and slightly tipped, about fifty feet away."
Published Excerpt Continued
The document pointed out that the reports hadn't actually started with the Arnold Incident. Belated reports from a weather observer in Richmond, Virginia, who observed a 'silver disk' through his theodolite telescope; an F-47 pilot and three pilots in his formation who saw a 'silver flying wing', and the English 'ghost airplanes' that had been picked up on radar early in 1947 proved this point. Although reports on them were not received until after the Arnold sighting, these incidents all had taken place earlier."

Microfiche image of the sanitized Project Sign folder:2


  1. The Report On Unidentified Flying Objects | eBook Page 49


  1. The document in the artist's rendition ( top left ) depicts the charred remains of the cover page from the original Project Sign Estimate.
  2. Actual microfiche image of the Project Sign folder. The cover is neither legal sized nor black and contains no legal sized papers. Therefore it cannot be or contain Sign's original Estimate.

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