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Project Magnet

Wilbert Smith


Project Magnet was authorized in December 1950, following my request to the Canadian department of Transport for permission to make use of the Department’s laboratory and field facilities in a study of unidentified flying objects and physical principles, which might appear to be involved.

The program consisted of two parts. The first part was the collecting of as much high quality data as possible, analyzing it, and where possible drawing conclusions from it. The second part consisted of a systematic questioning of all our basic concepts in the hopes of turning up a discrepancy, which might prove to be the key to a new technology.

Unfortunately, the program was plagued by well meaning journalists who were looking for spectacular copy which could be turned to a political account, to such an extent that both those who were working on the project and the department of Transport found themselves in an embarrassed position. Consequently, when the Project Magnet report was made and permission sought to extend the scope of the investigation through federal support, the decision was finally made in 1954 that this would not be advisable in the face of the publicity from which the whole project had suffered.

Project Magnet was officially dropped from the Department of Transport in 1954, although the Department indicated its willingness to permit the continued use of laboratory facilities, provided that this could be done at no cost to the public treasury. The project continued under these conditions, and to this extent may be said to have gone underground. The government of Canada was therefore not participant in the continuation of the project and not in any way responsible for it’s conclusions.

The conclusions reached by Project Magnet and contained in its official report were based on rigid statistical analysis of sightings and were as follows:

  1. There is a 91% probability that at least some of the sightings were of real objects of unknown origin.
  2. There is about a 60% probability that these objects are alien vehicles.

The conclusion based on studies of the basic physical concepts were as follows:

  1. Many of our fundamental concepts are inherently ambiguous and quite a different philosophy can be built up on the alternatives.
  2. Several of these alternatives lead to much simpler arithmetic, and presentations that do not have to resort to patchwork corrections to make them all embracing.
  3. Furthermore, some of our ideas with respect to fields and their behavior are wrong.

Project Magnet activities dealt with the following up on any and all leads. Many of these leads were dead ends, but a few were quite significant and well worth the overall effort. At the present time a definite pattern is emerging, and the groundwork is being laid for a new technology which might literally lead us to the stars.