By Robbie Graham
University of Bristol*
University of Bath†
On 22 January 1958, the popular CBS television show Armstrong Circle Theatre presented an entire programme dedicated to the subject of unidentified flying objects entitled: “UFO: Enigma of the Skies.” Among the high-profile experts invited to speak on the show, retired US Navy Major Donald Keyhoe – director of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) – was notable for his outspoken views on government secrecy surrounding the UFO phenomenon. Arguing against UFO reality on the programme were astronomer and vehement UFO sceptic Donald Menzel and Air Force representative Col. Spencer Whedon of the Air Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC). Their task should have been an easy one as the show’s content had been scripted in advance by CBS in conjunction with the US Air Force, and all guests – especially Keyhoe – had been instructed to read their preapproved material from a teleprompter.
When it came time for Keyhoe to speak, in frustration he veered from his script and stated to the nation: “And now I’m going to reveal something that has never been disclosed before...”1 The rest of his announcement went unheard by television viewers: unbeknownst to Keyhoe, his microphone had been cut by the station. Keyhoe