Of the many and varied entries contained within the 1st Annual Report, point 6 of Annex C is certainly one of the most intriguing and refers to an incident that occurred at Maury Island, Puget Sound, Washington State in June 1947. According to a local resident, Harold Dahl, a UFO was seen to malfunction over the harbor and spewed a large amount of unidentified debris into the water. Dahl, his son and two colleagues collected the debris and showed it to Dahl’s boss, Fred Crisman. The story was passed on to Ray Palmer, a magazine publisher, who subsequently arranged for Kenneth Arnold (the pilot whose 24 June 1947 sighting was largely responsible for the coining of the term Flying Saucer) to interview Dahl and Crisman.
Following the publicity that the case attracted, two Army A-2 intelligence personnel from Hamilton Field (a Captain Davidson and a Lieutenant Brown) arrived at Maury Island on 31 July 1947. They interviewed Dahl and Crisman and flew back to Hamilton Field on the next day with some of the disc fragments on board. However, on the journey back, their aircraft caught fire, crashed and Davidson and Brown were killed. Supposedly, the disc fragments were never recovered. Speculation has existed ever since the events in question that the aircraft was sabotaged to prevent Davidson and Brown from reaching their destination. There is also much speculation surrounding Crisman, and rumors suggest that he was not an innocent party in the affair and was linked with the world of intelligence and may have been tied to the wartime Office of Strategic Services. Below is the relevant extract from the 1st Annual Report:
The death of two Air Force counterintelligence officers in the crash of their B-25 aircraft enroute to Hamilton AFB, California, after interviewing two auxiliary CG men who reported six UFOs over Maury Island, Washington, in June 1947. CIC agent Crisman had spoken to Kenneth Arnold, who on 26 June 1947, had reported a flight of UFOs over Mt. Rainier, Washington, and filed his report after he had spoken to Captain Davidson and Lieutenant Brown. The material given to Davidson and Brown was believed to come from Maury Island and may be celestial fragments containing metal from a nuclear reactor from a UFO. Fragments were turned over to CIA agent Shaw, and Crisman was ordered to the Alaskan ADC for assignment in Project IVY.
In our ongoing validation project, we are posting here the FBI’s officially released file on Fred Crisman and the Maury Island incident – all of which combined reveal a wealth of information on the events in question and on the life of Fred Crisman. More importantly, the data backs up that contained within the 1st Annual Report. The file is 40 pages in length and contains: (a) an August 1947 employment application that Crisman made for a position with the Atomic Energy Commission; (b) information on Crisman’s wartime work in the US military; (c) his post-war employment; (d) his relationship with Harold Dahl who was the prime witness to the UFO incident; (e) the recovery of the unidentified debris at Maury Island; (f) Kenneth Arnold’s involvement in the case; (g) the media coverage of the events in question; and (h) the involvement of Davidson and Brown and the mysterious crash of their aircraft that resulted in their deaths and the loss of the debris.
Fred Crisman FBI File (1.4 MB)