Sunday, August 1, 2021

Preorder E-Book 'Wayward Sons: NICAP and the IC'

     Wayward Sons: NICAP and the IC is now available for preorder in e-book format. Your Kindle purchase will download on or about Saturday, August 21. Cost is $9.99. A paperback version will be offered about the same point in time. Below please see the table of contents and introduction contained in the nonfiction book.

Please note the e-book may be most suitable for certain readers. The book frequently references a variety of linked sources, so the links are easier to navigate in e-book form. Another consideration is a number of images of documents are provided which may be most effectively viewed on an electronic device. Also, I did not create an index for the paperback since an e-book is searchable. While I created a paperback version because I understand some readers prefer a hardcopy book, I encourage taking the above circumstances into account and giving some thought to what will offer you the best reading experience when choosing a format. [UPDATE: I received a proof copy of the paperback and the images of documents transferred quite well. I would therefore say the most important issues in choosing your preferred format are if it is important to you to have live links and a searchable medium.]

Thank you for your interest. Should you choose to obtain the book, I sincerely hope you find it a worthy read.

To request a review copy, email subject line "Wayward Sons" to and I will reply with a pdf version of the e-book.


    The significance of the NICAP story is subjective. Like many historical sagas, it depends on who you ask as to what it meant, and, in some cases, what even happened. Select events can be established from records and archives, and we will certainly examine them, but the fact remains people have differing ideas about what was most important and most interesting about the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena.

It is notable that the NICAP saga may be viewed in at least two contexts. One, which is my interest, is the organization's intersection with the intelligence community. A second, and more commonly viewed context, is NICAP UFO investigation. People interested in UFOs understandably want to know if the group learned anything important. The investigators of NICAP sure thought so, but dissecting the situation leads us to the paradox of the matter. The story of NICAP, and what is most significant about it, is not so easily discerned.

Did NICAP do some good work? Yes, it did. Were NICAP investigators credulous? Yes, that's true too, depending on specific circumstances considered. Was NICAP a CIA front? That might be accurate as well, short lived and/or intermittent as it may have been. Did NICAP rattle swords with the CIA and Air Force about a UFO cover-up? Yep, it certainly did. Was the CIA monitoring NICAP? It sure appears so, to more and less extents and depending on the particular circumstances. Did the CIA dismantle NICAP? Maybe so, or, at the least, it is true that CIA associates did basic managerial work for NICAP throughout its lifespan and stages of decline. Did NICAP run itself in the ground through financial mismanagement? Yes, to an extent it did indeed, which also means the CIA was not fully responsible for its demise, at least not necessarily. Much like the parable of the blind men and the elephant, many perspectives are correct to some extent, depending on how one comes at it.

Many feel NICAP was derailed by the Central Intelligence Agency. Perceived motives often include thwarting UFO investigation and destabilizing the group's effort to challenge the Condon Report, which was an Air Force-sponsored assessment that minimized the saucer situation. The presence of CIA associates in the saga is clear enough, but motives are much less so. We will consider the circumstances along with the perspectives of those familiar with the events.

I actually came to strongly suspect the CIA was substantially involved in the incorporation and initial operation of NICAP. We will explore this in detail on the coming pages.

Ironically, I am not convinced the situation significantly impaired or even particularly affected the way Maj. Donald Keyhoe would run the outfit for the next 13 years. During his tenure there was some overt CIA interest in NICAP activities, as well as some possible not so overt interest. The activities of CIA psychological warfare specialist and NICAP Board of Governors member Col. Joseph Bryan III will be explored, as will profiles of his intelligence colleagues from the Office of Policy Coordination. We will examine those situations along with some surrounding spectacles that found their ways into a NICAP orbit.

A focus of this book is NICAP's relation to the intelligence community, particularly the CIA and FBI. We will draw upon documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), newspaper clippings, and many more cited sources.

Much of the material referenced was obtained from records published on the websites of intelligence agencies or by submitting my own requests under the FOIA. As of this writing, several FOIA requests remain open. I will post the material at my blog, The UFO Trail, as it is received.

Another primary source for information covered in this book was NICAP files provided by researcher and archivist Barry Greenwood. I am tremendously grateful to him for supplying the material.

A 69 MB folder provided by Mr. Greenwood consists of 42 pdfs containing NICAP records. It may be accessed in whole on Google Drive or as individual files I will reference and link, as will be the case with many additional sources.

I apologize in advance for the errors which will inevitably inhabit this offering. I hope we find them few, far between, and of minimal consequence.

I am thankful to all who helpfully fielded my questions, provided material, and assisted me in reaching people of interest. I also thank all the researchers whose work and materials are cited. Select archives played key roles as well, and I am grateful to their administrators for their valuable assistance.

Thanks to those who maintain intelligence agency online reading rooms. I am grateful to the FBI, NARA, CIA, NSA, USAF, and the many FOIA officers at several agencies who filled my requests, informed me when no material was available, conducted correspondence, and continue to process records pertaining to this saga. Their work is important and appreciated.

I am grateful to the friends, loved ones, and acquaintances who supported this effort. Your messages, encouragement and phone calls are important to me. Thank you.

I am grateful to you for joining me on an exploration of events beginning some 70 years ago. Thanks for coming along. In doing so, we will hopefully catch a meaningful glimpse or three of what took place. I trust you will share the interest I developed, and find that circumstances from years gone by tend to shed light on more recent events.


  1. This looks solid Jack!!
    If its even 10% as good as your previous book then it will be GOLD!

  2. Just saw it when I was browsing on Kindle Store earlier today. Looks interesting; have you researched T. Townsend Brown's involvement? I always thought there was some significance that he was ousted from the group.

    1. Yes, an exploration of NICAP beginnings should include Brown. He and a Baltimore consulting firm with which he had an ongoing relationship play rather heavily in the story.


  3. It’s almost impossible to go back into ‘history’ and experience the ‘living context’ of what was happening. Imagine the execution of a husband and wife for ’spying’ ( remember when ? - June 1953 )
    Flying saucers in July 1947 and Russia’s atomic bomb 2 years later …. ‘Son of Freud’ Psychoanalyst Wilhem Reich on “Who Do You Trust” , cloud busting UFOs in the desert, then dead in jail 1957.

    The McCarthy hearings, Cuba crisis, JFK assassination, more Russian connections, Korean War, …
    on and on as ‘Intelligence and the CIA changes’ from WWII , to 50s, to 60s ….

    And everyone forgets the “FOO fighters” - seen all around the world by bombers on all sides wondering WTF is that and whose is it ? ( more later )

    So what is the ‘mind state’ of these guys who are in the middle of this ’storm’, whose actions are ‘making the difference’ ?

    Do they ( Keyhoe and Hillenkoetter ( who were good friends in the Academy), and Ruppelt and Byran ), want to ‘find the truth’ or is their ‘mission’ just another part of the ‘spy game’….

    Simply reading memos doesn’t get to the real ‘heart and soul’ of these men and what they ‘believed’.

    What were these men really like ‘face to face’.

    It sounds like you've written an excellent book that will hopefully be required reading ....

    1. Thanks, mouseonmoon! The Rosenbergs (you alluded to) actually make a brief appearance in the book. They were the subject matter of a memo passed from one of Joseph Bryan's associates to Dulles himself, according to a CIA calendar. Everything is indeed relative, I agree.