the Martian invasion scenario
Before reviewing the 1968 RAND Document, UFOs: What to Do?, in our next article, we must mention another interesting study made by RAND. Although it was constructed as just one more computer war game scenario, its implications seem indeed strange. Information on this report came from the popular French science writer Jacques Bergier, who in turn obtained it from a book that reveals “the tip of the veil of secrecy” of RAND, titled Analysis for a Military Decision.
Among the many hypothetical war scenarios disclosed in this book, Bergier mentions the astounding one of “a plan to invade the earth with flying saucers manufactured on Mars.” According to Bergier, some of the facets studied in this particular RAND scenario were mathematical graphs of the saucers in the Earth’s gravitational fields, as well as the gravitational fields of Mars and its satellites.
“As soon as the flying saucer has been picked up by radar in the earth’s atmosphere and airplanes have gone up to head it off,” continued Bergier, “the model must be subjected to constant alterations and improvements.” To which he added with good sense that, “this problem seems to have been solved in a masterly fashion by the Martians colleagues of the men from RAND, since to date not one single flying saucer from Mars has been shot down or forced to land.”
And this despite the efforts to the contrary by the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff and those of other nations. Bergier’s final sentence in his section on “Martian Invade the Earth,” is also highly suggestive: “In these laboratories not only man-made wars are studied but also the possibility of wars unleashed by unknown enemies.” We’ll review next what to do with UFOs, according to the men from RAND.
* * *
Looking back at this article 30 years later, one has to admit that the small December 1948 study prepared by James Everett Lipp of the RAND Missiles Division for Project Sign, makes him a true pioneer of SETI in an era long before even that acronym was coined. “This may have been the first U.S. government sponsored study on non-human life in the universe,” wrote Curtis Peebles, an aerospace historian for the Smithsonian Institution and UFO skeptic. Born in 1910, Lipp earned a Ph.D. in aeronautical engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 1935 and worked for Douglas Aircraft Co. for 13 years before joining RAND in 1948, where he eventually headed its aerospace division.
By all accounts, Dr. Lipp was a highly competent aerospace scientist who is mentioned in several histories of the genesis of the American space program. He wrote a RAND paper in February of 1947 titled, “Communication and Observation Problems of a Satellite,” which among other things mentioned the possibility of “spy satellites” for the first time. He is also remembered for a “prophecy” written in this same paper about the enormous prestige to be gained by the first country to launch a space vehicle. Ten years before the USSR launched Sputnik, Lipp wrote: