Wilbert B. Smith

Wilbert B. Smith

Wilbert Brockhouse Smith (1910 in Lethbridge, Alberta – December 27, 1962) was a Canadian electrical engineer, radio engineer, ufologist and contactee.

A longtime employee of the Canadian Department of Transport (DOT), Smith also led the small Canadian UFO research called Project Magnet from 1952 until it was formally discontinued in 1954; Smith afterwards funded Magnet until his death in 1962.

Jerome Clark describes Smith as "one of the most curious figures in UFO history, occupying a role no one had ever filled before and no one is likely to fill again." [Clark, Jerome, "The UFO Encyclopedia: The Phenomenon from the Beginning, Volume 2, L-Z" Detroit: Omnigraphics, 1998 (2nd edition, 2005), ISBN 0-7808-0097-4]


In 1933, Smith earned a B. Sc. in electrical engineering from the University of British Columbia in 1933, where he also earned his M. A. Sc. in 1934. He afterwards worked as engineer at several commercial radio stations before co-founding the Canadian Association of Broadcast Consultants. In 1939, he was hired by the DOT, which then oversaw Canadian radio stations.

Another notable achievement was the 1947 establishment of stations to measure the ionosphere.

At his death, Smith was the Superintendent of Radio Regulations Engineering for the DOT, an organization responsible for licensing broadcast facilities, setting equipment standards and performing other acts of commercial radio regulation.

Smith died on December 27, 1962, of intestinal cancer.

mith and UFOs

Though the fact was not disclosed until well after his death, Smith claimed that, in the late 1940s, he received what a friend described as "mental messages from space people" [Clark, 2005] Smith related this claim to very few people during his life.

In 1950, Smith's interest in UFOs was further piqued by articles written by retired U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Donald E. Keyhoe, and by Frank Scully's book "Behind the Flying Saucers", which claimed that a crashed UFO had been recovered by U.S. officials.

The Scully story is now widely regarded as a hoax, but, according to a memorandum located by Arthur Bray [cited in Clark, 2005] , Smith met in 1950 with U.S. Defense Dept physicist Robert Sarbacher, who confirmed the core elements of Scully's story as accurate, and who further claimed that American scientist Vannevar Bush was involved in a secret, high-level UFO research group.

Smith lobbied the DOT to establish a UFO research group; Project Magnet was the result. Founded in 1952, it operated under DOT auspices until 1954. Smith wrote several reports for Magnet, concluding that UFOs were likely extraterrestrial in origin, and used principles of magnetism to travel. After Magnet's funding was ended in 1954, Smith was allowed to use Magnet's facilities at his own expense.

Also after Magnet's formal funding ended, Clark writes, Smith "became more open about his fascination with what many considered ufology's fringe aspects." [Clark, 2005] . Smith met or corresponded with contactees like Frances Swan, and used séances to contact "ufonauts". Smith was satisfied with results, which he thought confirmed his opinions about UFOs.

In 1957, Keyhoe asked Smith to join the advisory board of NICAP, the UFO research group Keyoe headed, citing Smith's notable achievements in radio and electronics. Smith declined, largely because he disagreed with NICAP's skepticism towards cases where UFO occupants were purportedly witnessed.


*Story, Ronald J. (editor) and J. Richard Greenwell (consulting editor), "The Encyclopedia of UFOs", Garden City: Doubleday & Co, 1980, ISBN 0-385-13677-3

External links

* [http://www.presidentialufo.com/smith.htm Wilbert Smith: Canada's UFO Pioneer - (www.presidentialufo.com)]
* [http://gravitycontrol.org/Wilbert-Brockhouse-Smith.html Wilbert Brockhouse Smith - Bio]

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