C. D. Gasser
Clyde D Gasser at the controls of Oak Ridge Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion
project test reactor at S-50 lab. ORNL ANP program director Sylvan
Cromer at far left
Ridge National Laboratory
with the unlikely name of Col Clyde D. Gasser was Air Materiel Command's
liaison officer at Oak Ridge, where the Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion
(ANP) division of the Nuclear Energy for the Propulsion of Aircraft
(NEPA) program was based.
established in the Spring of 1946 as a basic research project to establish
the feasibility of powering a plane by nuclear reactions. The NEPA division
at Oak Ridge was largely concerned with development and testing of materials
that could withstand the intense radiation flux of an operating airborne
reactor (which, for weight reasons, was expected to have a minimum of
NEPA: Nuclear Energy for the Propulsion of
had private discussions with the authors of the Project SIGN report, circa
late summer 1948, on the possibility that UFOs were nuclear-powered vehicles.
series of documents in the FBI files details Gasser's growing alarm about
the possibility that the Green Fireballs were Soviet missiles of some
letter below is reproduced from the DOE archives. It discusses the development
of the ANP project at Oak Ridge, which was just being planned when the
colonel discussed his UFO opinions with FBI sources.
January 24, 1949, FBI official D. M. Ladd memoed J. Edgar Hoover
on a confidential discussion that Gasser had had with an FBI agent
concerning UFOs. Gasser revealed that he had discussed "Flying
Discs" with personnel from Wright-Patterson AFB and intimated
that due to the range limitations of conventional propulsion, there
was quiet discussion of the possibility that, if Soviet, the Discs
were nuclear-powered missiles.
more astonishing was Gasser's statement that "this matter,
while still purely a matter of guesswork, is nevertheless a source
of great concern to the military establishment of this country....it
has given impetus to the research being done by the air force in
their own program of nuclear energy for the propulsion of aircraft
to develop guided missiles."
repeat: according the military head of the program at Oak Ridge,
Flying Discs were a major factor behind the Air Force's emphasis
on nuclear aircraft propulsion research.
the time the Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion program was cancelled in
1961, more than $1 billion had been spent on a technology that never
powered a single flying vehicle.
UFO FOIA files