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New Project Magnet Documents

New Classified UFO Documents Surface                                         Grant Cameron

Over the years the Canadian government has always had a public relations problem regarding its involvement in the UFO mystery. The problem is that it once ran an investigation of flying saucers at a Top Secret level, and that it shared the information it had gathered with high-level United States officials. 

Over the years, through carefully worded releases, the Canadian government has attempted to turn this high level involvement into what the government has described as a part time personal interest by one employee who was somewhat misguided in his pro-flying saucer beliefs. 

Wilbert Smith, the top radio engineer in the Department of Transport, had headed the study up. Following a trip to visit with “United States officials,” Smith returned to Canada writing a TOP SECRET MEMO seeking funding for his proposed research. As a part of the evidence he had been given in the states he listed five items. 

1) The matter is the most highly classified subject in the United States Government, rating higher than even the H-bomb.

2) Flying saucers exist.

3) Their modus operandi is unknown but concentrated effort is being made by a small group headed by Vannevar Bush.

4) The entire matter is considered by the United States authorities to be of tremendous significance.

5) The United States authorities are investigating along quite a number of lines, which might possibly be related to the saucers such as mental phenomena. 

While Smith was alive, statements supported the fact that official research into flying saucers was going on. A statement prepared for the Minister of Transport to be presented in the House of Commons in the 1950s, for example said, “This entire program . . . is being carried on . . . with official approval and authority to make use of existing facilities.” 

Months after Smith died in late 1962 Mr. Dupuis, Minister of the Department of Transport, made his final positive statement in the House of Commons, 

“Between December 1950 and August 1954 a small program of investigation in the field of geomagnetics was carried out by the then communications division of the Department of Transport with a view to obtaining, if possible, some physical information or facts which might help to explain the phenomena which was generally referred to as unidentified flying objects. Mr. W.B. Smith was the engineer in charge of this program.”[i] 

By 1964 UFO researcher Arthur Bray received a letter that started the denial, 

“. . . at no time has this Department carried out research in the field of unidentified flying objects . . .The department did not take part in any of his (Smith’s) research work nor did Mr. Smith provide the Department with any useful information arising out of his work.”[ii] 

By 1968 the denial was completed. The statement that would forever be provided for inquiries related to Smith was completed. The key UFO sceptic at the Dominion Observatory, Dr. Peter Millman, wrote it up. 

“The project was a personal one carried out by Mr. Smith with the knowledge of his department, but without any official sponsorship.”[iii] 

Now, newly discovered classified documents have surfaced which clearly show that the government of the early 1950s was deeply interested and involved in the flying saucer mystery, and that it was officially approved and monitored. Further the documents clearly show that the later releases about these activities being a “purely a personal hobby” by one lone employee were carefully worded spin to distract inquiring minds. 

The 43 new pages of documents were uncovered in the extensive files of Wilbert B. Smith by York University researcher Nick Balaskas at the University of Ottawa Archives in the Canadian capitol. There are five documents in total. Three of the documents are classified “secret” and two have no classification markings. They date from March 10, 1950 to October 18, 1952. 

The five documents and their highlights are as follows: 

1. March 10, 1950 “Preliminary Report on Initial Experiment Geo-Magnetic Release” classified “SECRET.” This three-page document was written more than eight months before Smith’s now famous “TOP SECRET” Project Magnet memo to his superiors within the Department of Transport. It describes the research that was going on that led to Project Magnet. 

The object of the experiment being described in the document was “to check qualitatively certain theoretical points concerning the possibility of converting geo-magnetic energy into electrical energy.” It is this geo-magnetic energy that, Smith would months later conclude, might be propelling the flying saucers. It is also this geo-magnetic energy theory that Smith would trade with American officials in exchange for information they had on the flying saucers. 

The conclusion of this paper was that energy had been generated by the “collapse of the earth’s field” using a “core of ferro-magnetic material,” but that more advanced equipment should be built to more accurately measure the effect. The document can be viewed at: 


2. The second five-page document, undated and without security markings, is the most interesting of the set. It ties in the idea that “magnetic sink” can be produced and that it might closely link into the flying saucers that were widely being reported. 

More importantly, the paper describes how Project Magnet came to be and the reasons behind the classification of the program. 

“At the time when the flying saucers first captured public attention the writer was engaged in a part-time investigation of the behavior of electro-magnetic fields, and it seemed just possible that, if the saucers actually were space ships, they might be using the very magnetic principles being studied. Authority was requested and obtained to set up a classified project with the Department of Transport to pursue this matter further.” 

“The project was classified for several reasons. The exchange of information with other parallel classified projects could thereby be facilitated; scientific personnel working along unorthodox lines prefer to work in camera, until their results can be proven; and further-more, in the event that a new technology should be uncovered, its implications would have to be carefully assessed before pertinent information could be made public.” 

This document can be viewed at: 


3. The next seven-page document is actually six different assignment papers all classified “SECRET.” They are very technical in nature. The titles of the papers included “Theoretical Investigation of Different Boundary Conditions in Maxwell’s Electromagnetic Equations”; “Investigations of Mechanical Forces Associated with Electron Drift or Currents in Solid Bodies”; “Magnetic Domain Resonance in Magnetic Materials”;  “Magnetic Wave Motion in Magnetic Materials”; “Investigation of Possibility of Magnetic Sink”; and “Single magnetic Poles.” 

4. The fourth discovered document is a fourteen-page paper titled “Project Magnet.” The paper is a highly technical review of the experiments conducted by Wilbert Smith and J. Thompson  “to investigate as many aspects of magnetic phenomena as possible with the object of determining whether magnetic sink exist, domain resonance occur, and any correlations between them.” 

Although this paper was not marked as classified other documents clearly show that the activities behind Project Magnet remained classified from December 1950 till 1979.

5. The final document in the newly discovered material is a draft report of the “Interim Project Magnet Report” dated October 18, 1952. It was the final version of this report that Mrs. Murl Smith stated, “had sat on the desk of Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent for three months” until Wilbert Smith and the Prime Minister agreed “the time was not right” for it’s release. The copy of the final report found in the government files remained classified well into the 1970s.



As one can see from the diagram the conclusion of the report included the observation that the “saucers are real.” Many observations about the flight and visual characteristics were being analyzed to determine the gap that existed with present day physics knowledge. 

This document can be viewed at: 



[i] Bray, Arthur “The UFO Connection” p.60.

[ii]  Ibid.

[iii]  Ibid. p.61.


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