MY FRIEND ROBERT J. GRIBBLE
UFO REPORTING CENTER, DIRECTOR, RETIRED
Bob has been my friend since 1965 when I saw him speak at the Seattle Science Center. Dixie Lee Ray, previously governor of Washington State, but at that time head of the Science Center, invited him to speak at the Science Center, as well as a representative from the armed services.
At that time I was to discover the world I had been searching for since 1953 when a UFO was above our car at midnight on Highway 30 west of Pendleton, Oregon. I did not know even the word "UFO" so couldn't imagine what it was. However, it sent me on a search which lasted over 10 years. I knew there was something I didn't know but needed to. I went through different religions, philosophies, and spiritualism. Finally when I heard Bob speak I knew right then what it was I had been searching for.
During that time I was involved in a political party and when it came my time for the entertainment at the ladies luncheon I called and asked him to come and speak. Bob and his wife Gloria were very gracious to come and tell about what was happening about sightings of UFOs. That was the last time I went to the political party! I became a member of Bob's Board of Directors.
In 1954 Bob read an article in True Magazine. It interested him very much. He saw that a book was advertised called "Flying Saucers on the Attack" by Harold Wilkins from the UK. He ordered it and when it came he read it over and over again, losing precious sleep because he couldn't put it down. It triggered an interest in him he couldn't understand.
An advertisement in a magazine about a book store in New York that was selling Donald Kehoe's book, "Flying Saucers Are Real," elicited the same response. He would stay up all night reading that book over and over again.
In 1955 Bob decided to put out a publication, even though he had no experience at writing. He published it on his ancient printing machine and sent it to the news media. KING 5 in Seattle asked for an interview. After that people deluged him with enquiries and wanted to start an organization.
That is when Carol Honey came in to help him. Carol Honey was the ghost writer on George Adamski's book, "Flying Saucers Have Landed".
Bob started publishing 800 copies of 8 pages for his news letter. It just mushroomed! Even Jackie Gleason was taking his news letter!
Then in 1969 Bob became burned out. He threw all of his material into the land fill, pictures, reports and all. He had decided to quit.
At that time he had 5 children, a wife, and worked for the Seattle Fire Department. He never had a minute just to relax because even when he was at the FD he would write up his newsletter in his spare time. When he was home he would answer the "hot line" phone at all hours of the night so you can imagine why he became burned out.
In 1971 he got back into it. He subscribed to Lucius Farish's UFO news clipping service and another clipping service out of New York. This was during the 1973 "flap". At first they would deliver the clippings in fat manila folders but so many sightings were taking place they started sending them in boxes.
Bob decided his organization needed a name so he called it "Aerial Phenomena Research Group." He didn't know about the Aerial Phenomenal Research Organization in Tucson, Arizona, run by Coral and Jim Lorenzen. Very shortly he did because she contacted Bob and told him about their organization in no uncertain terms.
The Board of Directors of his organization consisted of members: Jim French (a radio announcer in Seattle), Verne Frese, a physicist, Bill Woods, expert in radar, Will and Mary Winquist, June Larson, and myself. I was the Publicity Director, arranging talks and appearances on the radio and television for Bob.
All of a sudden there was tremendous TV and newspaper coverage that he could hardly keep up with. He was giving talks to lots of people. He was not a skilled speaker but Jim French helped him by giving pointers and Bob read a lot, learning more and more about UFOs as he went along.
Bob sponsored speakers that were very well known at the time. A short list was: George Van Tassel, George Adamski, Dan Fry, and my friend, Sid Padrick. People in Seattle couldn't get enough. He would have persons lined up outside the theater trying to get in but there was no more room.
Again in 1994 he was burned out. He became disgusted with Dale G___ and Walt Andrus, head of MUFON at the time. Peter Davenport called him and asked to have the hot line transferred to his name. He would also take over the UFO Reporting Center. So Bob signed the papers and Peter Davenport took over.
Bob later became interested in fighting the influx of illegal aliens and again put out a newsletter which he sent all over the US to talk show hosts and the news media. All of this was at his own expense. He never heard back from one person so he decided to let what would happen happen. He is still interested in what is happening but is doing nothing more about any of it.
We still keep in touch often even though I have moved away from Seattle. I forgot to mention that during the time Bob had his scientific organization most organizations were not interested in abduction cases because they felt it was all hallucinations or mentally unbalanced persons that would have that kind of an experience. It broke my heart. So I decided to drop out and start my own organization specifically for abduction cases. That was in 1978. It lasted twenty years but by then the scientific organizations had finally taken an interest in the people and tried to help them.
I might mention that my dear friend Kalani Hanohano also became a member of Bob's board. Lan Roberts, a radio DJ at KJR had sent Kalani to me because I was best friends with his wife and he knew that I knew the UFO community and that is who Kalani wanted to find. That was in 1972. We have been friends ever since.
Bob is now 83 years old. His birthday is easy to remember, May 18, the day Mt. St. Helen's erupted.