The MIN* in Black told Paul that uncovering Townsend Brown’s true contributions would be a ‘multi- generational’ project. It has taken a few iterations but we are almost past the bobbled narrative of Moore and Berlitz. The Hunt For Zero Point+ helped somewhat, but even Nick Cook seemed inclined to accept that Townsend’s reputation was irreparably tarred by the NICAP brush.
This is one of the Big Myths that led to the public impression of Brown as some sort of free lance dilettante dependent upon the grace and favors of the commercial sector for his daily bread. That was never, never, not for a minute, never-ever true. This entire tarring assumption is based on the Big Wrong Belief that no credible people took UFO reports seriously. In the early days of the Cold War, this was absolutely UN-possible. Every flag officer of every service feared that new Soviet weapons that were being tested in US airspace.
Only a select few of these officers were read into the darkest secret of the day, which was the new U2 spy plane. For the first time, America had the ability to to pinpoint unusual military activity behind the Iron Curtain. It was an amazing plane, but the Lockheed Skunkworks’ Dragon Lady was a bitch to fly. She was ungainly and difficult to control at lower altitudes and new pilots were warned “You’re gonna have to fight with the dragon if you want to dance with the lady.”
These overflights would generate a spate of problematic UFO sighting reports and questions were sure to be asked. The persistently curious would not always be on Team USA. Townsend surely had all of this in mind when he challenged the family to come up with an official sounding name for the group that would collect these reports.
He gave himself the position of NICAP President Pro-tem in the organizational charter, but lost interest once he moved to Umatilla, to “see to a construction job”.** He handed off the task of sorting the incoming reports to Linda, telling her that “ours” were the ones described with the motion of a falling leaf.
Townsend Brown was on to the next big thing, the construction of the Navy’s rocket launching facilities at Cape Canaveral (a short hop from Umatilla) and the implementation of the the mini-track navigational radar system that would keep the first satellites steady in their orbits. (See ya in outer space, baybee!)
*Mysterious Insiders on the Net
+Hunt for Zero Point (compete text in pdf format)
**Linda’s recollection of his explanation for why Umatilla.