As an example of the way many of the better reports of the 1947-49 period were "evaluated" let's take the report of a pilot who tangled with a UFO near Washington, DC, on the night of November 18, 1948.
"At about 9:45 EST I noticed a light moving generally north to south over Andrews AFB. It appeared to be one continuous, glowing white light. I thought it was an aircraft with only one landing light so I moved in closer to check, as I wanted to get into the landing pattern. I was well above landing traffic altitude at this time. As I neared the light I noticed that it was not another airplane. Just then it began to take violent evasive action so I tried to close in. I made first contact at 2,700 feet over the field. I switched my navigation lights on and off but got no answer so I went in closer - but the light quickly flew up and over my airplane. I then tried to close again but the light turned. I tried to turn inside of its turn and, at the same time, get the light between the moon and me, but even with my flaps lowered I couldn't turn inside the light. I never did manage to get into a position where the light was silhouetted against the moon.
"I chased the light up and down and around for about 10 minutes, then as a last resort I made a pass and turned on my landing lights. Just before the object made a final tight turn and headed for the coast I saw that it was a dark gray oval-shaped object, smaller than my T-6. I couldn't tell if the light was on the object or if the whole object had been glowing."
Two officers and a crew chief, a master sergeant, completely corroborated the pilot's report. They had been standing on the flight line and had witnessed the entire incident.
The Air Weather Service, who had been called in as experts on weather balloons, read this report. They said, "Definitely not a balloon." Dr. Hynek said, "No astronomical explanation." It wasn't another airplane and it wasn't a hallucination.
But Project Grudge had an answer, it WAS a weather balloon. There was no explanation as to why they had so glibly reversed the decision of the Air Weather Service.
There was an answer for every report.
Captain Edward J. Ruppelt,
Project Blue Book
(This web page produced for InterLink:UFO by Francis Ridge; Robert Fairfax).