White Plains Man Had His UFO Research Monitored by CIA, Declassified Docs
Leon Davidson was a native of New York City who was born in 1922. Davidson was a highly educated man who earned a PhD from Columbia University's School of Engineering and Applied Science. As a student at Columbia, he was recruited into the Manhattan Project.
In the late 1950's, Davidson became a sought after talent in the new field of computer development. Davidson got contracts with the Nuclear Development Corporation out of White Plains, NY and worked with IBM and Union Carbide.
In addition, Davidson became a engineering design supervisor at Los Alamos, New Mexico where assisted in the development of the most cutting-edge atomic technology of the day.
Right around the same time (late 50's), Davidson became a volunteer for the Civil Defense Filter Center in White Plains, NY. The center studied and tracked UFO activity in the New York Metro area.
It's also around this time period that Davidson became a nuisance to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). CIA documents from that era that were once considered classified, have been made available to the public.
John Greenwald Jr. is an author and podcast host (The Black Vault). According to the NY Post, Greenwald has been taking advantage of the Freedom of Information Act for years. He has sent countless Freedom of Information Requests to the U.S. Government seeking information related to UFO activity in the states.
Greenwald recently shared thousands of CIA documents that the agency released to him. Some of these documents are internal agency communications about Leon Davidson's UFO research.
Like Greenwald, Davidson was requesting information from an array of Government agencies about UFOs. Davidson got the agencies attention and there are documents in which unnamed agency members communicate with one another on how to handle Davidson if he should reach out.
Davidson was writing an article for a publication the CIA referred to as a "space magazine" and was seeking information about a communication the Government claimed was morse code. In a document (Ref #-C00015243) from 1957, an agency member whose name was redacted wrote the following:
"Dr. Leon Davidson is on our backs again. He wants a verbatim translation of the space message and the identification of the transmitter from which it came. Your attention is called to a letter to Davidson from Wallace W. Elwood x Wallace W. Elwood, Captain USAF x USAF, Attic x Attic, dates 5 x 5 August 1957 x 1957, in which Elwood tells Davidson the message was identifiable as morse code and from a known US x US licensed radio station.
This was intended to satisfy Davidson that he did not x not in fact have a space message. He is not x not satisfied and explains that the characteristics of the sounds on the tape recording of the message are not x not morse-type.
Can you obtain from the attic the message translation, and the transmitted, shortly we'd like to dismiss this man once and for all. If you cannot obtain this information, Davidson is going to pressure us for permission to use Chicago office letterhead and use other US x US Government letterhead he has received in this matter in an article for some space magazine.
We are sending by buckslip this date a publication of Davidson's criticizing the Air Force for concealment of information on flying saucers. Incidentally, Davidson is no x no fool and it appears that the attic is treating him as one if they think he can be satisfied with a SOP such as Captain Elwood's."
That message is either cut off or redacted from this point on. It's unclear because the print on the documents are difficult to read. All referenced documents are pictured below and listed by reference #'s.
In a CIA document (Ref #-C00015244) that was also dated 1957, someone from the CIA says the following about Leon Davidson:
"Davidson was calm and pleasant but very determined. In view of your WA-2625B we wish to bow out of this thing, but urge that headquarters,(REDACTED SERIES OF WORDS) and the attic x attic concern themselves with this man and try to satisfy him. Please do not x not let us down on our agreement to communicate with him. We are committed."
There are several mentions of "the attic" in both documents. This appears to reference a department, research lab or physical space where evidence is analyzed, maintained and or stored at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
It's either an official code name or an unofficial nickname. Wherever the "attic" is mentioned, it is paired closely with Wright-Patterson or placed in the same sentence. This example comes from a third CIA document (Ref #-C00015241) where agents spoke of Davidson's pursuit of information about the audio recording.
"Refer WA 16990 x 16990. Under date 6 x 6 March (REDACTED SERIES OF WORDS), Received a letter from Davidson (THREE REDACTED LINES), in which Davidson asked if the (REDACTED SERIES OF WORDS) tape had been analyzed at attic x attic Wright Field."
Wright Field is an Air Force military airfield and installation in Ohio that is also commonly referred to as "Area B" or "Wright-Patt."
Today, there is an "Airmen's Attic" on nearly every Air Force Base in America that accepts donations for those in need. Among other items, clothing is donated by both Airmen and civilians that is gifted to less fortunate families. I don't think the mentions of the "attic" in these documents are referring to a used-clothing exchange.
Believe it or not, the "article" that Leon Davidson was writing for a "space magazine" is hard to find. What I did find is a listing of his series of pamphlets on flying saucers. Columbia University's Library has an archival collection on their website. They list seven titles with the words "flying saucers" in the name. You can request archive boxes for only three of the seven.
By all accounts, Davidson's flying saucer pamphlets are rare. The easiest to access and purchase is called: "Flying Saucers: An analysis of Air Force Project Blue Book Special Report #14." Amazon sells the fourth edition for $19.99. I was able to find a photocopied PDF version of a pamphlet by the same name but a different edition (third).
The Government pushed back against Davidson's attempt to release a book on the topic. He convinced a Congressional committee to allow him to publish and distribute it.
Project Blue Book is the most infamous, official U.S. Government investigation into Unidentified Flying Objects. The program was led by Dr. J. Allen Hynek, a Professor and Astronomer.
Hynek's work is so well known now that there is a dramatic TV series about it on the History Channel by the same name. But, in 1966 when Davidson's (third edition) review was published, it was big news to the American public.
This is what the Amazon book description says of Davidson's findings:
"Examines the last Project Blue Book Report by the U.S. Air Force (No. 14), showing how the government lied, in order to cover up not only their own experimental craft, but also the possible existence of extraterrestrials. For many years, this volume was almost impossible to obtain."
Davidson died in 2007 at the age of 84 in White Plains, NY. With all he accomplished, truths he tried to share, his story and work only exist in the margins because the government didn't want any of it getting out.
They wanted to "satisfy" him, which is really to say, they wanted him to go away. I'd love to know more about this communication that was supposed to be morse code. We know CIA thought it was important enough to keep away from Leon Davidson.
I'd love to rummage through the real attic of the CIA, the Air Force and the Pentagon. There are probably thousands of Leon Davidson's.
When I learned the Pentagon had "180 Days" to release what it knows about UFO's, as part of a "pork" addendum to the Economic Stimulus Bill, I had to calm myself down. I've been eagerly anticipating this for years but I needed to manage my expectations.
I know the Pentagon will intentionally make this information dump overwhelming and confusing the way the CIA did to John Greenwald Jr. from the Black Vault with these documents.
I decided that, methodically combing through the releases to share stories like this one with my readers was worth it. If enough people get convinced the United States Government is hiding something on this topic, we can all work together to force their hand.
P.S. Thank you John Greenwald Jr. I know from experience that the most frustrating part of this process is doing Freedom of Information requests and getting ignored by the agency you sent it to. That can go on for years and it did when I was inundating CT agencies for information on Dudleytown.
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