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Martian Canals

SETI: Following observations during a particularly favourable opposition of Mars in September 1877, Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli drew maps of Mars with lines which he referred to as “canali”. A debate ensued over the possible existence of canals on Mars.

 

 

 

 

 

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On 24 January 1878, John Martin reports a dark “object” high up in the northern sky. The “object” was reported as being about “ the size of a large saucer” and “evidently at a great height”.

 This incident is Case 58 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article,  since it was referred to in 49 of the books covered by that article.

 

 

 

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Bonilla photos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 12 August 1883, photographs were taken by astronomer Jose A y Bonilla at the Zacatecas Observatory in Mexico of objects crossing the face of the Sun.


In 1885, the French publication “L’Astronomie” published an observation by Jose A y Bonilla, the director of the Zacatecas Observatory in Mexico, northwest of Mexico City. Bonilla’s account included the following:

On August 12, 1883 at 8am, I was starting to outline the solar spots when all of a sudden I caught sight of a small luminous body, which was entering the scope of the telescope, standing out on the paper I used to reproduce the spots, and wandering over the solar disc, projecting itself like a shadow almost circular.

I had hardly recovered from my surprise when the same phenomenon happened again and at such short intervals that within 2h. I was able to count up to 283 bodies crossing the solar disc.

Bonilla took several photographs which he sent to “L’Astronomie”.

 

Claims to fame

Several researchers have referred to these photographs as “the first UFO photographs”.

During 2003-2007, Isaac Koi reviewed a sample of 963 UFO and SETI books and noted the frequency with which various UFO cases were discussed. This incident is Case 87 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article, since it was referred to in 32 of the books covered by that article. The Bonilla photos featured in a list of the top 10 photographic cases (in terms of frequency of discussion). This incident was the eighth most frequently discussed UFO photographic case in the study, with 32 discussions being noted.

 

Isaac Koi’s “ICES” Rating for this sighting = 5544 (out of a potential score of 14*14*14*14 i.e. 38416)

(1) “Impact” Rating of 11 (out of a potential score of 14), because it is Case 87 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article.

(2) “Credibility” Rating of 12 (out of a potential score of 14), because no-one appears to have identified any evidence that the photographs are faked or been altered (or, indeed, that Bonilla's account is untrue or inaccurate in any way). The debate regarding this incident has been about what the relevant "bodies" seen on the photographs actually are.  However, the incident is not assigned a  “Credibility” Rating higher than 12 because the discussions of this case set out in the table below are generally not very detailed and a more detailed examination of the photograph (or Bonilla's accompanying account) possibly may reveal additional relevant evidence.

(2) “Expert” Rating of 7 (out of a potential score of 14). It is given this neutral rating because (at the time of writing) it has not been included in any of the short lists of the best cases produced by various UFO researchers that have been compiled by Isaac Koi (see the “Best UFO Cases" article at PART 3:  Existing lists by various individuals), nor it is frequently mentioned as a good example of a hoax or misperception.

(4)“Strangeness” Rating of 6 (out of a potential score of 14): While the true nature of the "bodies" shown on the photograph are not immediately obvious upon looking at the Bonilla photos, there are no details or structures visible that rule out a number of mundane explanations (e.g. birds or insects).  Similarly, Bonilla's accompanying account does make a specific mundane source clear but does not provide any details which (even if they are all true and accurate) would exclude a number of mundane explanations.  The Bonilla photos are therefore given a relatively low “Strangeness” Rating. It would be helpful to have the photos considered by somone familiar with taking photos of the Sun and/or to compare the Bonilla photos with photos of various objects crossing in front of the Sun.

 

 

In Larry Hatch’s *U* database this sighting is assigned:

(1) a Hynek Strangeness Rating of 6 by Larry Hatch (out of a potential score of 10), and

(2) a Hynek Probability Rating of 9 by Larry Hatch (out of a potential score of 10).

Multiplying together the two ratings assigned by Larry Hatch results in a score of 54 (out of a potential score of 100).

 

 


The Skeptics

Editors of “L’Astronomie”

In a note following Bonilla’s article, the editors of “L’Astronomie” comment that:

  • The observation “is not easy to explain”
  • However, the editors “believe that objects in question are birds, insects, or high atmospheric dust, anyway, corpuscules belonging to our atmosphere”.



Lore and Deneault

In their book “Mysteries of the Skies” (1968), Gordon Lore and Harold Deneault comment that the speed of the objects would “seem to exclude either insects or birds” but also suggest that “the number of objects would tend to argue against Bonilla’s having [seen] anything so exciting as extra-terrestrial vehicles”.

 

 

 

Sections below:

1. Web Resources

2. Book References

3. Other material

 

 

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25 December 1889 is one of several dates (depending upon the source) ascribed to the alleged disappearance of one Oliver Lerch (or, again depending upon the source, Oliver Larch or Oliver Thomas) whilst leaving footprints in snow when carrying a bucket to a well in Wales (or South Bend, Indiana).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Astronautics: In 1896, Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovskii writes “Exploration of Space by Means of Reactive Apparatus”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There was a wave of Airship reports between mid-November 1896 to the end of April 1897, with sporadic earlier sightings of airships.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Alleged airship crash in Aurora, Texas on 17th April 1897 involving reports of a badly disfigured pilot not an inhabitant of this world.

Reported in the 19th April 1897 edition of the Dallas Morning News.

 

 

Claims to fame

 

This incident is Case 51 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article, since it was referred to in 53 of the books covered by that article.

Isaac Koi’s “ICES” Rating for this sighting = 3,380 (out of a potential score of 14*14*14*14 i.e. 38,416)

 

(1) “Impact” Rating of 13 (out of a potential score of 14), because it is Case 51 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article.

(2) “Credibility” Rating of 4 (out of a potential score of 14), because several authors have given considerable evidence that this incident was a hoax..

(2) “Expert” Rating of 5 (out of a potential score of 14). It is given this relatively low rating because (at the time of writing) it has not been included in any of the short lists of the best cases produced by various UFO researchers that have been compiled by Isaac Koi (see the “Best UFO Cases" article at PART 3: Existing lists by various individuals), and it is sometimes mentioned by UFO researchers as a good example of a hoax. For example, Jerome Clark has written several items giving evidence for his conclusion that this was a hoax.

(4)“Strangeness” Rating of 13 (out of a potential score of 14): While the true nature of the "bodies" shown on the photograph are not immediately obvious upon looking at the Bonilla photos, there are no details or structures visible that rule out a number of mundane explanations (e.g. birds or insects). Similarly, Bonilla's accompanying account does make a specific mundane source clear but does not provide any details which (even if they are all true and accurate) would exclude a number of mundane explanations. The Bonilla photos are therefore given a relatively low “Strangeness” Rating. It would be helpful to have the photos considered by somone familiar with taking photos of the Sun and/or to compare the Bonilla photos with photos of various objects crossing in front of the Sun.

 

 

 

Sections below:

1. Web Resources

2. Book References

3. Other material

 

 

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Hamilton calf napping

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alleged airship encounter on 19 April 1897 involving attempted calf-napping on the ranch of Alexander Hamilton atLe Roy,Kansas (sometimes referred to asLeRoy,Kansas).

 

 

Claims to fame

This incident is Case 24 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article, since it was referred to in 74 of the books covered by that article.

 

Isaac Koi’s “ICES” Rating for this sighting = 3,360 (out of a potential score of 14*14*14*14 i.e. 38,416)

(1) “Impact” Rating of 14 (out of a potential score of 14), because it is Case 24 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article.

(2) “Credibility” Rating of 4 (out of a potential score of 14) because several researchers have identified convincing evidence this sighting was a hoax.

(2) “Expert” Rating of 5 (out of a potential score of 14). It is given this relatively low rating because (at the time of writing) it has not been included in any of the short lists of the best cases produced by various UFO researchers that have been compiled by Isaac Koi (see the “Best UFO Cases" article at PART 3: Existing lists by various individuals), and is it is mentioned relatively often as an example of a hoax.

(4)“Strangeness” Rating of 12 (out of a potential score of 14). The sighting has a relatively high strangeness rating since it would be very difficult to explain this sighting as a misperception or misidentification..

 

 

Sections below:

1. Web Resources

2. Book References

3. Other material

 

 

 

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Guzman Prize

SETI: The Pierre Guzman prize (commonly referred to as “the Guzman Prize”) of one hundred thousand francs is announced in Paris by Clara Gouguet in memory of her son by a former marriage. The prize was to be awarded “a celui qui aura trouve le moyen de communiquer avec an astre autre que la planet Mars (“to him who has found the means of communicating with a star other than Mars”).

The prize was administered by the French Academy of Sciences.

(The date of the announcement of the prize various from source to source, e.g. Moore says 1900.1217 whereas Crowe says 1891).

 

 

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Tesla and mars

An article by Nikola Tesla entitled “Talking with the Planets” is published in Collier’s Weekly in which he stated that “at the present stage of progress, there would be no insurmountable obstacle in constructing a machine capable of conveying a message to Mars, nor would there be any great difficulty in recording signals transmitted to us by the inhabitants of that planet, if they be skilled electricians”.

Tesla described “mysterious effects” he claimed to have observed and commented that “the feeling is constantly growing on me that I had been the first to hear the greeting of one planet to another”.

 

 

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Goddard and other worlds

SETI: On 2 January 1902, Robert H Goddard publishes an essay entitled “The Habitability of Other Worlds” in which he deduced the existence of extrasolar planetary systems and commented “that among these countless planets there are conditions of heat and light equivalent to those we experience; and if this is the case, and the planet is near our age and size, there may very likely exist human beings like ourselves, probably with strange costumes and still stranger manners”.

 

 

 

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Welsh lights

Britain: “Welsh lights” (commonly referred to as “the Egryn lights”) reported during 1905. Commonly linked to the Welsh Methodist revival of that year and the preacher Mrs Mary Jones.

 

 

 

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Tunguska Event

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 30 June 1908, an explosion occurs over the Tunguska region of Russia. (Commonly referred to as “the Tunguska Event”).

 

 

 

 

Claims to fame

This incident is Case 13 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article, since it was referred to in 95 of the books covered by that article.

 

Isaac Koi’s “ICES” Rating for this sighting = 5,880 (out of a potential score of 14*14*14*14 i.e. 38,416)

(1) “Impact” Rating of 14 (out of a potential score of 14), because it is Case 13 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article.

(2) “Credibility” Rating of 14 (out of a potential score of 14) because something clearly happened and it has been reported accurately. The debate regarding this incident has centered on whether there is a natural explanation for the event, i.e. a debate regarding its Strangeness Rating (below).

(2) “Expert” Rating of 6 (out of a potential score of 14). It is given this slightly below average rating because (at the time of writing) it has not been included in any of the short lists of the best cases produced by various UFO researchers that have been compiled by Isaac Koi (see the “Best UFO Cases" article at PART 3: Existing lists by various individuals), and is it is occasionally mentioned by some UFO researchers as an example of an event having a mundane explanation..

(4)“Strangeness” Rating of 5 (out of a potential score of 14). The sighting has a relatively low strangeness rating since several researchers have put forward plausible evidence that the event had a mundane explanation (i.e. the explosion of an asteroid or comet) rather than requiring a exotic theory to explain the event.

 

 

Sections below:

1. Web Resources

2. Book References

3. Other material

 

 

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Worldwide waves of airship sightings during 1909-1910 and 1913, with sporadic later reports.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Vanished Battalion

Britain: Alleged abduction/disappearance at Gallipoli of the 1/5 Norfolks battalion of the British 163rd Brigade on 21 August 1915. (Commonly referred to as “the Vanished Battallion incident” or “the Vanished Norfolks hoax”). Linked by a few authors to UFOs.

 

 

 

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Fatima apparition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alleged apparition atFatima on 13 October 1917. Sometimes referred to as the "Miracle of the Sun".

 

 

 

 

Claims to fame

This incident is Case 37 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article, since it was referred to in 61 of the books covered by that article.

Isaac Koi’s “ICES” Rating for this sighting = 4,992 (out of a potential score of 14*14*14*14 i.e. 38,416)

(1) “Impact” Rating of 13 (out of a potential score of 14), because it is Case 37 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article.

(2) “Credibility” Rating of 6 (out of a potential score of 14) because the credibility of the witness accounts is undermined by the possibility of a mass hallucination possibly stimulated by the religious fervor of the crowds expectantly waiting for a predicted sign.

(2) “Expert” Rating of 8 (out of a potential score of 14). It is given this very slightly above neutral rating because (at the time of writing) it has been included in just one of the short lists of the best cases produced by various UFO researchers that have been compiled by Isaac Koi (see the “Best UFO Cases" article at PART 3: Existing lists by various individuals) and it was also mentioned by one respondent to poll by Jacques Vallee (PART 5: Consensus lists : Jacques Vallee’s poll (1965)).

(4)“Strangeness” Rating of 8 (out of a potential score of 14). Many of the alleged sightings can be explained as consistent with a natural phenomenon, particularly the perception of movement (and perceived colour changes) arising from looking directly into the Sun for too long.

 

 

 

Sections below:

1. Web Resources

2. Book References

3. Other material

 

 

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Astronautics: In 1918, Robert H Goddard writes about the use of suspended animation for interstellar travel in his unpublished manuscript entitled “The Ultimate Migration”.

 

 

 

 

 

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Marconi and other worlds

SETI: On 20 January 1919, the New York Times prints an article entitled “Radio to Stars, Marconi’s Hope” in which Guglielmo Marconi is reported to have stated that “… communication with intelligences on other stars … may some day be possible” and that he had received unexplained signals which might have originated from the stars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Todd and Mars

SETI: On 22 August 1924, during an approach of Mars, David Todd attempts to detect radio signals from that planet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Astronautics: In 1929, the “Generation ship” idea was proposed by John D Bernal in his book “The World, the Flesh, and the Devil”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sightings of “ghost airplanes” and “ghost fliers” reported over Scandinavia between 1933 and 1937, with sporadic reports in other countries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Radio broadcast: Dramatization of H G Wells’ 1898 novel “The War of the Worlds” broadcast by CBS on 30 October 1938.

Performed by Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater. Script written by Howard Koch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"Battle of Los Angeles"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 25th February 1942,Los Angeles was blacked out whilst U.S. Army gunners fire at a UFO overLos Angeles andBurbank,California,USA (commonly referred to as the “Battle ofLos Angeles").

This incident is Case 95 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article, since it was referred to in 29 of the books covered by that article

 

 

Claims to fame

This incident is Case 95 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article, since it was referred to in 29 of the books covered by that article.

 

Isaac Koi’s “ICES” Rating for this sighting = 8,232 (out of a potential score of 14*14*14*14 i.e. 38,416)

(1) “Impact” Rating of 14 (out of a potential score of 14), because it is Case 95 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article.

(2) “Credibility” Rating of 14 (out of a potential score of 14) because shooting clearly did take place on the relevant night. The debate has centered on what (if anything at all) was actually there to be shot at.

(2) “Expert” Rating of 7 (out of a potential score of 14). It is given this neutral rating because (at the time of writing) it has not been included in any of the short lists of the best cases produced by various UFO researchers that have been compiled by Isaac Koi (see the “Best UFO Cases" article at PART 3: Existing lists by various individuals), but also is not commonly given by UFO researchers as an example of an incident that can be explained by hoax, misperception or other mundane cause.

(4)“Strangeness” Rating of 6 (out of a potential score of 14). The sighting has a relatively low strangeness rating since there is relatively limited evidence to be explained as to the nature of the object (if any at all) in the sky that night.

 

 

Sections below:

1. Web Resources

2. Book References

3. Other material

 

 

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Foo fighters reported by Allied pilots during 1943-1945 in the European and Far Eastern theaters, with sporadic earlier reports.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 14 October 1943, the Schweinfurt, Germany incident occurred.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Georg Klein claims to have seens a test flight of a flying disc near Prague on 14 February 1945.

The claims were made in an interview given to Zurich newspaper Tages-Anzeiger in November 1954.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“I Remember Lemuria!”, based on material by Richard S Shaver, published in the March 1945 issue of Amazing Stories.

This was the first part of the Shaver Mystery.

 

 

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The short story “First Contact”, by Murray Leinster, was published in the May 1945 edition of Astounding magazine.

 

 

 

 

 

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Flight 19 incident

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 5 December 1945, the Flight 19 incident (involving 5 Avenger torpedo bombers) occurred.

Related by some authors to UFOs and/or the Bermuda Triangle.

 

 

Claims to fame

This incident is Case 48 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article, since it was referred to in 54 of the books covered by that article.

 

Isaac Koi’s “ICES” Rating for this sighting = 5,460 (out of a potential score of 14*14*14*14 i.e. 38,416)

(1) “Impact” Rating of 13 (out of a potential score of 14), because it is Case 95 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article.

(2) “Credibility” Rating of 12 (out of a potential score of 14) because the relevant planes did not return. The debate has centered on what happened to the planes rather than the credibility of the basic story. However, some of the details appear to have been embellished in several accounts.

(3) “Expert” Rating of 7 (out of a potential score of 14). It is given this neutral rating because (at the time of writing) it has not been included in any of the short lists of the best cases produced by various UFO researchers that have been compiled by Isaac Koi (see the “Best UFO Cases" article at PART 3: Existing lists by various individuals), but also is not commonly given by UFO researchers as an example of an incident that can be explained by hoax, misperception or other mundane cause.

(4)“Strangeness” Rating of 5 (out of a potential score of 14). The sighting has a relatively low strangeness rating since there is reasonably compelling evidence (presented by, particularly, Lawrence David Kusche) that the planes may simply have encountered stormy weather.

 

 

Sections below:

1. Web Resources

2. Book References

3. Other material

 

 

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“Ghost Rockets” (or “ghost bombs” or “spook bombs”) were reported in Sweden and neighboring Scandinavian countries from 1946-1948, with sporadic earlier sightings.

 

 

 

 

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During May 1946, Operation Overcast was renamed Operation Paperclip, continuing US attempts to obtain German technology and scientists.

 

 

 

 

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On 17 March 1947, the US Navy contract for development of a plane with a flat circular body is terminated.

The plane had the military designation XF-5U-1 and was based on the lighter Chance Vought V-173 prototype (also known as the Zimmerman “Flying Pancake”, the “Flying Pancake” and the “Navy Flounder”) which had been flown for the first time on 1942.1123.

 

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"Battle of Los Angeles"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 21 June 1947, near Maury Island, Washington there was an alleged sighting and claims of debris from a UFO involving Harold A Dahl with a related alleged sighting the following day by Dahl’s superior – Fred Lee Crisman.

Dahl and Crisman are often referred to as harbor patrolmen.

The incident is commonly referred to as “the Maury Island hoax” or “the Maury Island incident”.

 

 

 

Claims to fame

This incident is Case 12 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article, since it was referred to in 99 of the books covered by that article.

 

Isaac Koi’s “ICES” Rating for this sighting = 4,368 (out of a potential score of 14*14*14*14 i.e. 38,416)

(1) “Impact” Rating of 14 (out of a potential score of 14), because it is Case 95 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article.

(2) “Credibility” Rating of 3 (out of a potential score of 14) because many researchers have put forward compelling evidence that this incident was merely a hoax.

(2) “Expert” Rating of 8 (out of a potential score of 14). It is given this slightly above neutral rating because (at the time of writing) it has included in one of the short lists of the best cases produced by various UFO researchers that have been compiled by Isaac Koi (see the “Best UFO Cases" article at PART 3: Existing lists by various individuals).

(4)“Strangeness” Rating of 13 (out of a potential score of 14). The sighting has a very strangeness rating since the witness accounts, if not hoaxed, would be very difficult to reconcile with a mundane explanation.

 

 

Sections below:

1. Web Resources

2. Book References

3. Other material

 

 

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On 24 June 1947, Portland prospector Fred M Johnson reports several UFOs in the sky, in Cascade Mountains of Orgeon.

Fred Johnson claimed the compass hand on his watch moved from side to side during the sighting.

This incident is Case 69 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article,  since it was referred to in 41 of the books covered by that article.

This incident has featured in a list of twenty UFO cases produced by Bruce Maccabee in 1999 in response to a challenge to produce “the best evidence for an extraterrestrial origin for the UFO phenomenon”. 

 

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On 24 June 1947, businessman/pilot Kenneth Arnold of Boise, Idaho claims to see 9 objects flying “like a saucer would if you skipped it across the water” near Mount Rainer in the Cascade Mountains in Washington State.

As part of a survey by the Fortean Times in 2007 of various researchers of the ten cases from 1947 onwards that interested them the most, ufologist Peter Brookesmith indicated that this incident was one of two UFO cases with the “the greatest cultural effect”.

This incident came fourth in a survey in 1965 by Jacques Vallee of the opinion of various UFO groups as to the most significant UFO sightings. It also featured in a document (“the Rockefeller Briefing Document”) endorsed by Dr Mark Rodeghier (President of CUFOS), Richard Hall (Chairman of FUFOR) and Walter Andrus (President of MUFON) as containing “the best available evidence for the existence of UFOs”.

This incident is Case 1 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article,  since it was referred to in 359 of the books covered by that article.

This incident has also featured in lists by various UFO researchers of the top UFO cases, including the following:

  • a list of Dennis Balthaser’s “ten favourite cases” in an article in the MUFON Journal in 2003.
  • a list of twenty UFO cases produced by Bruce Maccabee in 1999 in response to a challenge to produce “the best evidence for an extraterrestrial origin for the UFO phenomenon”.
  • a list by Don Berliner of “the top 10 cases of World Ufology” in an interview made available on the UFO UpDates discussion List on 14 January 2007.

 

 

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On 4 July 1947, there was a series of sightings in Portland, Oregon involving various police officers and civilians.

 

 

 

 

 

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On 4 July 1947, press reports included coverage of statement by the US Air Force on UFOs. That statement suggested causes of sightings may include “large hailstones which might have flattened out and glided a bit”.

 

 

 

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United Airlines sighting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 4 July 1947, the United Airlines Flight 105 sighting occurred involving Captain Emil J Smith, his co-pilot (Ralph Stevens) and a stewardess (Marty Morrow), near Emmett, Idaho.

 

 

Claims to fame

This incident is Case 67 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article, since it was referred to in 43 of the books covered by that article.

 

Isaac Koi’s “ICES” Rating for this sighting = 5,544 (out of a potential score of 14*14*14*14 i.e. 38,416)

(1) “Impact” Rating of 12 (out of a potential score of 14), because it is Case 67 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article.

(2) “Credibility” Rating of 11 (out of a potential score of 14).

(2) “Expert” Rating of 7 (out of a potential score of 14). It is given this neutral rating because (at the time of writing) it has not been included in any of the short lists of the best cases produced by various UFO researchers that have been compiled by Isaac Koi (see the “Best UFO Cases" article at PART 3: Existing lists by various individuals), but also is not commonly given by UFO researchers as an example of an incident that can be explained by hoax, misperception or other mundane cause.

(4)“Strangeness” Rating of 6 (out of a potential score of 14).

 

 

Sections below:

1. Web Resources

2. Book References

3. Other material

 

 

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On 7 July 1947, William H Rhodes of Phoenix, Arizona claims to have taken 2 photographs of a flying disk over Phoenix.

 

 

 

 

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On 8 July 1947, there were a series of sightings at, and near, Muroc Field.

 This incident is Case 71 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article,  since it was referred to in 39 of the books covered by that article.

 

 

 

 

 

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Roswell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 8 July 1947, the Roswell Daily Record prints a story with the headline “RAAF Captures Flying Saucer on Ranch in Roswell Region” .

The alleged UFO crash during June/July 1947 is generally referred to as "the Roswell incident", "the Roswell crash" or "the Roswell story".

 

 

 

Claims to fame

This incident is Case 4 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article, since it was referred to in 228 of the books covered by that article.

As part of a survey by the Fortean Times in 2007 of various researchers of the ten cases from 1947 onwards that interested them the most, British ufologists Dave Clarke and Andy Roberts indicated that they considered this incident the “most over-hyped UFO case”.

In an interview in 1998, Kevin Randle said that Roswell was his "favourite" case.

This incident has also featured in lists by various UFO researchers of the top UFO cases, including the following:

* a list of cases produced by Stanton Friedman as part of a survey by the Fortean Times in 2007 of various researchers of the ten cases from 1947 onwards that interested them the most.

* a list by Don Berliner of “the top 10 cases of World Ufology” in an interview made available on the UFO UpDates discussion List on 14 January 2007.

* a list of Dennis Balthaser’s “ten favourite cases” in an article in the MUFON Journal in 2003.

* a list by James Carrion, the International Director of the Mutual UFO Network, of the “top 10 cases” in an interview in 2006.

 

Isaac Koi’s “ICES” Rating for this sighting = 23,716 (out of a potential score of 14*14*14*14 i.e. 38,416)

(1) “Impact” Rating of 14 (out of a potential score of 14), because it is Case 95 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article.

(2) “Credibility” Rating of 11 (out of a potential score of 14). As with the Strangeness Rating below, it is difficult to assign "the Roswell incident" a single Credibility Rating since the relevant "incident" is actually comprised of many different eye-witness accounts and claims which are of varying degrees of credibility.   The rating assigned here is an attempt to reflect these varying degrees of credibility.

(2) “Expert” Rating of 14 (out of a potential score of 14). It is given this top rating because it has been included in many of the short lists of the best cases produced by various UFO researchers that have been compiled by Isaac Koi (see the “Best UFO Cases" article at PART 3: Existing lists by various individuals).

(4) “Strangeness” Rating of 11 (out of a potential score of 14). As with the Credibility Rating above, it is difficult to assign "the Roswell incident" a single Strangeness Rating since the relevant "incident" is actually comprised of many different eye-witness accounts and claims which are of varying degrees of strangeness. Some claims merely describe the material found (in varying terms), others claim to have seen alien bodies. The rating assigned here is an attempt to reflect these varying degrees of strangeness. 

 

 

Sections below:

1. Web Resources

2. Book References

3. Other material

 

 

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On 9 July 1947, various newspapers report that the USAAF had corrected its press release of the previous day, stating that the debris recovered near Roswell was a weather balloon. Roswell Daily Record prints a front page article under the headline “Gen. Ramey Empties Flying Saucer”.

 

 

 

 

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FBI "access to discs"

J Edgar Hoover handwrites an annotations on memo dated 10 July 1947. His annotation states the FBI should “insist upon full access to discs recovered”, with one part of the annotation referring to the [“La” or “SW”] case.

 

 

 

 

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The 14 July 1947 issue of Newsweek contained an article entitled “Flying Saucer Spots Before Their Eyes”.

 

 

 

 

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The 21 July 1947 issue of “Life” magazine contains an article entitled “Flying Saucers Break Out over the U. S.”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 24 January 1878, Kenneth Arnold’s second sighting, of several, during a flight near LaGrande, Oregon.

 

 

 

 

 

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"Topside Inquiries"
An undated page possibly attached to an Air Force document dated 30 July 1947 includes a comment that “lack of topside inquiries, when compared to the prompt and demanding inquiries that have originated topside upon former events, give more than ordinary weight to the possibility that this is a domestic project, about which the President, etc., know”

 

 

 

 

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Gallup poll
On 14 August 1947, results of first Gallup Poll including questions on UFOs are released, indicating that 9 out of 10 Americans had heard of the phenomenon. One question was “What do you think these saucers are?”. The responses noted in the results did not include a category relating to spaceships. 9% of respondents selected “Other explanations” than those offered.

 

 

 

 

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"Toilet seats" memo

On 3 September 1947, a memo from Colonel R H Smith (Assistant Chief of Staff Intelligence) to several Commanding Generals in the Army Air Forces stated that the FBI had been asked to assist the Air Force in UFO investigations “to relieve the numbered Air Forces of the task of tracking down all the many instances which turned out to be ash can covers, toilet seats and whatnot”.

The memo was supplied to FBI Special Agent Harry M Kimball by Lieutenant Colonel Donald Springer on 19 September 1947.

 

 

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Twining memo

On 23 September 1947, a memo from Lt-General Nathan F Twining (chief of Air Materiel Command) to Brig-General George Schulgen (Commanding General, Army Air Forces) reports on the current knowledge of UFOs and recommends that a permanent project be set up to study them.

(Commonly referred to as “the Twining memo” or “the Twining letter”).

 

 

 

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"Toilet seats" memo forwarded
On 24 September 1947, a memo from FBI Assistant Director D M Ladd to FBI Director J Edgar Hoover summarises, and attaches, the 3 September 1947 memo from Colonel R H Smith (Assistant Chief of Staff Intelligence) which stated the FBI had been asked to assist the Air Force in UFO investigations “to relieve the numbered Air Forces of the task of tracking down all the many instances which turned out to be ash can covers, toilet seats and whatnot”. Mr Ladd recommended that the FBI “protest vigorously” and that the FBI discontinue all activity in this field.

 

 

 

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Hoover on "toilet seats" memo
On 24 September 1947, FBI Director J Edgar Hoover wrote to Major General McDonald informing him that the FBI would be discontinuing all investigative activity regarding the reported sightings of flying discs, mentioning the “ash can covers, toilet seats and whatnot” comment in the memo from Colonel R H Smith (Assistant Chief of Staff Intelligence) dated 3 September 1947.

 

 

 

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FBI Bulletin

On 1 October 1947, FBI Bulletin Number 57 informs FBI offices that in future all flying disc reports should be referred to the Air Force

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 27 October 1947, the song “When You See Those Flying Saucers”, written by Charles Grean an Cy Coben, is filed for copyright.

 

 

 

 

 

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Horten brothers memo
On 16 December 1947, Reimar Horten and Walter Horten (commonly referred to as “the Horten brothers”) are discussed in a US Army memo entitled “Horton Brothers (Flying Saucers)”.

 

 

 

 

 

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Project Sign established
On 30 December 1947, a letter from Major General L C Craigie (Chief of Staff) to the Commanding General of the Air Materiel Command directed the setting up a project to collect, collate, evaluate and distribute information concerning UFOs. The letter gave this project the code name, Project Sign, and assigned a priority 2-A.

 

 

 

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During 1948, “Fate” magazine was started by Raymond Palmer and Curtis Fuller.

 

 

 

 

 

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Captain Mantell incident

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 7 January 1948, Captain Thomas F Mantell Jr (Air National Guard F-51 Mustang fighter pilot) dies during attempted intercept near Godman Air Force Base (near Fort Knox), Kentucky.

 

Claims to fame

This incident is Case 6 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article, since it was referred to in 179 of the books covered by that article.

 

Isaac Koi’s “ICES” Rating for this sighting = 5,824 (out of a potential score of 14*14*14*14 i.e. 38,416)

(1) “Impact” Rating of 14 (out of a potential score of 14), because it is Case 6 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article.

(2) “Credibility” Rating of 13 (out of a potential score of 14) because an object was reported by several people and Mantell died while attempting to chase it. The debate has centered on what he was actually attempting to chase.

(2) “Expert” Rating of 8 (out of a potential score of 14). It is given this slightly above neutral rating because while (at the time of writing) it has not been included in any of the short lists of the best cases produced by various UFO researchers that have been compiled by Isaac Koi (see the “Best UFO Cases" article at PART 3: Existing lists by various individuals) this incident did come fifth in a survey in 1965 by Jacques Vallee of the opinion of various UFO groups as to the most significant UFO sightings..

(4)“Strangeness” Rating of 4 (out of a potential score of 14). The sighting has a relatively low strangeness rating since there is relatively limited evidence to be explained as to the nature of the object in the sky. That evidence is largely consistent with a large balloon.

 

 

Sections below:

1. Web Resources

2. Book References

3. Other material

 

 

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On 22 January 1948, Project Sign (publicly known as “Project Saucer”) officially began operations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Project Sign instructions

On 11 February 1948, Project Sign personnel receive instructions, referring to their task as the “Evaluation of Unidentified Flying Objects”.

(Reference: HQ AMC Technical Instruction Number 2185)

 

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On 17 March 1948, an Air Force Scientific Advisory Board meeting includes a briefing by Colonel McCoy which mentions Project Sign.

 

 

 

 

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Chiles Whitted sighting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 24 July 1948, Eastern Airlines DC-3 pilot Captain Clarence S Chiles and co-pilot John B Whitted, on trip from Houston, Texas to Atlanta (with intermediate stops in between) report a UFO near Montgomery, Alabama at approximately 2.45am.

 

This incident is Case 10 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article, since it was referred to in 115 of the books covered by that article.

 

Isaac Koi’s “ICES” Rating for this sighting = 8,190 (out of a potential score of 14*14*14*14 i.e. 38,416)

(1) “Impact” Rating of 14 (out of a potential score of 14), because it is Case 10 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article.

(2) “Credibility” Rating of 13 (out of a potential score of 14) because shooting clearly did take place on the relevant night. The debate has centered on what (if anything at all) was actually there to be shot at.

(2) “Expert” Rating of 9 (out of a potential score of 14). It is given this slightly above neutral rating because (at the time of writing) it has been included in a small number of the short lists of the best cases produced by various UFO researchers that have been compiled by Isaac Koi (see the “Best UFO Cases" article at PART 3: Existing lists by various individuals).

(4)“Strangeness” Rating of 5 (out of a potential score of 14). The sighting has a relatively low strangeness rating since several authors (particularly Philip Klass) have plausibly suggested that the object seen was a meteor.

 

 

Sections below:

1. Web Resources

2. Book References

3. Other material

 

 

 

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Cabell memo
On 27 July 1948, Major General Cabell directed the Air Estimates Branch of Air Force Intelligence to prepare a study to determine the probability of the existence of UFOs.

 

 

 

 

 

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Estimate of the Situation
In or around August 1948, Project Sign staff allegedly prepared an “Estimate of the Situation” that allegedly reached the conclusion that flying saucers were real and came from outer space.

The alleged existence of this document is controversial, as are details such as its alleged date. It is sometimes stated to have been dated 5 August 1948, sometimes the 1 August 1948, usually simply August 1948, sometimes September 1948, occasionally October 1948 and even “in early 1949”.

 

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Gorman dogfight incident

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 1 October 1948, Lieutenant George F Gorman of the North Dakota Air National Guard has a “dogfight” with an alleged UFO as he approached Fargo, North Dakota in an F-51.

This incident is Case 33 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article, since it was referred to in 64 of the books covered by that article.

 

Isaac Koi’s “ICES” Rating for this sighting = 5,005 (out of a potential score of 14*14*14*14 i.e. 38,416)

(1) “Impact” Rating of 13 (out of a potential score of 14), because it is Case 33 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article.

(2) “Credibility” Rating of 11 (out of a potential score of 14) because the sighting report was made by a military witness and the debate has centered on what was actually there.

(2) “Expert” Rating of 7 (out of a potential score of 14). It is given this neutral rating because (at the time of writing) it has not been included in any of the short lists of the best cases produced by various UFO researchers that have been compiled by Isaac Koi (see the “Best UFO Cases" article at PART 3: Existing lists by various individuals), but also is not commonly given by UFO researchers as an example of an incident that can be explained by hoax, misperception or other mundane cause.

(4)“Strangeness” Rating of 5 (out of a potential score of 14). The sighting has a relatively low strangeness rating since there several researchers (particularly Donald Menzel) have plausibly suggested that Gorman saw some form of balloon carrying a candle/light.

 

 

Sections below:

1. Web Resources

2. Book References

3. Other material

 

 

 

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Colonel Allen memo
On 11 October 1948, a memo to Major General Cabell from Colonel Brooke Allen, Chief of the Air Estimates Branch of Air Force Inteligence, attaches a copy of a document later titled “Analysis of Flying Object Incidents in the United States” (10 December 1948).

 

 

 

 

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Estimate of Situation rejected
In or around November 1948, Air Force Chief of Staff General Hoyt S Vandenburg allegedly rejects the “Estimate of the Situation” a few days after the Gorman sighting (which happened on 1 October 1948), stating that he did not consider there to be enough evidence to support its conclusions.

 

 

 

 

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Origins "not discernible"
On 3 November 1948, Major General C P Cabell, USAF HQ wrote to the Commanding General, AMC at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base stating that the origin of UFOs was “not discernible”.

 

 

 

 

 

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Top Secret document
On 4 November 1948, a formerly Top Secret Telecon (telephone conversation) Transcript (TT) was sent from U S Air Force, Europe (USAFE) intelligence (A-2) to Headquarters, Air Force Director of Intelligence (DI) at the Pentagon

(Reference : Telecon Transcript #1524, Item #14 - Records Group 341, Entry 214, General Files, Top Secret Control # 2-5317, National Archives II, College Park, Maryland.)

 

 

 

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Colonel McCoy Memo
On 8 November 1948, a letter from Colonel McCoy to General Cabell in response to further questions raised by General Cabell in the light of the memo from Colonel Brooke Allen dated 1948.1011. (Commonly referred to as “the McCoy Memo”, this is a further document that is occasionally referred to as “the Ghost of the Estimate” (although this term is more often used in relation to a document dated 1948.1210 entitled “Analysis of Flying Object Incidents in the United States”)).

 

 

 

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Ghost of the Estimate
On 24 January 1878, the “Analysis of Flying Object Incidents in the United States”, Study #203, is prepared by the USAF Directorate of Intelligence (“DI”) and the Office of Naval Intelligence. (Commonly referred to, controversially, as “the Ghost of the Estimate”. Also referred to as “Air Intelligence Report No. 100-203-79”).

 

 

 

 

 

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Lipp report

On 13 December 1948, Dr James E Lipp of the Rand Corporation provides a report addressed to Brigadier General Putt (US Air Force Director of Research and Development).

This report subsequently appeared as Appendix D to the Project Sign Report.

 

 

 

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Project Grudge name change
On 16 December 1948, an order was given by the Air Force director of research to change name of Project Sign to Project Grudge.

 

 

 

 

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Project Sign report
During February 1949, the final report of Project Sign (“The Findings of Project Sign”) was completed.

 

Officially cited as Technical Report-TR-2274-IA of the Technical Intelligence Division, Air Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.

(Commonly referred to as “the Project Sign Report”).

 

 

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On 16 February 1949, A conference involving Dr Lincoln La Paz (an astronomer from the University of New Mexico) was held on the subject of reports of “green fireballs” and a proceedings report was issued.

The conference held at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory to discuss investigation of sightings of green fireballs. Attended by representatives of Project Sign, various scientists and others.

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On 3 April 1949, radio commentator Walter Winchell claims that flying saucers were actually guided missiles from Russia

 

 

 

 

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On 24 April 1949, there was a sighting at White Sands, New Mexico whilst tracking a weather balloon, involving Charles B Moore.

 

This incident is Case 66 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article,  since it was referred to in 44 of the books covered by that article.

 

 

 

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JIC Top Secret report
On 27 April 1949, the U.S. Joint Committee on Intelligence (“JIC”) was provided with a Top Secret report on “Unidentified Aerial Objects” by the Air Force Director of Intelligence.

Directorate of Intelligence, USAF, Decimal Correspondence File, "Flying Discs," 1949, National Archives II, College Park Maryland.

 

 

 

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Project Saucer press release
On 27 April 1949, the US Air Force released a “Memorandum for the Press” entitled “Project Saucer”.

Memorandum for the Press NO. M 26 – 49, entitled “Project Saucer”, Project Blue Book files.

 

 

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On 27 April 1949, there was a briefing for the USAF Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and his staff on UFOs by Directorate of Intelligence personnel.

Directorate of Intelligence, USAF, Decimal Correspondence File, "Flying Discs," 1949, National Archives II, College Park Maryland.

 

 

 

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The first part of Sidney Shallett’s two-part article on UFOs appeared in the 30 April 1949 issue of The Saturday Evening Post, entitled “What You Can Believe About Flying Saucers”.

The second part appeared in the 7th May 1949 edition.

 

 

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Project Grudge final report

During August 1949, Project Grudge's final report was completed.

The report contained analysis of 244 cases.

It concluded that Unidentified Flying Objects posed no direct threat to the national security of the United States.

The report was designated as Technical Report No. 102-AC 49/15 – 100 (commonly referred to as “the Project Grudge Report”), originally classified “Secret”.

 

 

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Clyde Tombaugh sighting
On 20 August 1949, astronomer Clyde Tombaugh had a sightingat Las Cruces, New Mexico.

This incident is Case 43 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article,  since it was referred to in 57 of the books covered by that article.

 

 

 

 

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Green fireball conference report
On 6 November 1949, a report was sent to the Commanding General, Air Materiel Command relating to the green fireball conference that had been held during February 1949

 

 

 

 

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On 26 December 1949, the January 1950 edition of True magazine (containing the article entitled, The Flying Saucers are Real” by Donald Keyhoe) hit the newsstands.

 

 

 

 

 

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Project Grudge press release

On 24 January 1878, the Air Force issued press release (Numbered 629-49) announcing that Project Grudge had been close down.

The press release stated that the final report on UFO’s would released to the press a few later days.

Grudge Report (officially titled “Unidentified Flying Objects Project Grudge”, Technical Report No. 102-AC-49/15-lOO) issued thereafter.

 

 

 

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USAF press release
On 30 December 1949, the US Air Force reportedly issued a statement on UFOs.

 

 

 

 

 

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In an article published in 1950, Arthur C Clarke proposed the direct electromagnetic launch (using a mass driver) of a space vehicle.

Clarke, Arthur C (1950), Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, Volume 9, pages 261-267

 

 

 

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Fermi Paradox

During a lunch at Los Alamos in the summer of 1950, Enrico Fermi reputedly asked colleagues “If there are extraterrestrials, where are they?”. (The precise quotation and date varies from source to source.)

(Commonly referred to as “the Fermi Paradox”).

 

 

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"Destination Moon"

The movieDestination Moon” (1950) was based on a novel by Robert Heinlein.

It was directed by Irving Pichel.

 

 

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"The Flying Saucer"
The movieThe Flying Saucer” (1950) was produced by Michael Conrad.

 

 

 

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The January 1950 issue of True magazine included the article entitled “The Flying Saucers are Real” written by Donald Keyhoe.

 

 

 

 

 

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The March 1950 edition of True magazine contains the article entitled “How Scientists Tracked Flying Saucers” by Commander R B McLaughlin.

 

 

 

  

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During March 1950Donald Keyhoe’s first UFO book, “The Flying Saucers are Real” is published

 For references and further information, see separate entry in relation to Donald Keyhoe’s book “The Flying Saucers are Real” (1950).

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"Battle of Los Angeles"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 17 March 1950, the Farmington, New Mexico incident involved reports of an “armada” of flying saucers.

This incident is Case 97 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article, since it was referred to in 28 of the books covered by that article.

 

Isaac Koi’s “ICES” Rating for this sighting = 5,390 (out of a potential score of 14*14*14*14 i.e. 38,416)

(1) “Impact” Rating of 11 (out of a potential score of 14), because it is Case 97 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article.

(2) “Credibility” Rating of 14 (out of a potential score of 14) because something clearly was seen by multiple witnesses. The debate regarding this incident has centered on what (if any) mundane explanation is available for these sightings.

(2) “Expert” Rating of 7 (out of a potential score of 14). It is given this neutral rating because (at the time of writing) it has not been included in any of the short lists of the best cases produced by various UFO researchers that have been compiled by Isaac Koi (see the “Best UFO Cases" article at PART 3: Existing lists by various individuals), but also is not commonly given by UFO researchers as an example of an incident that can be explained by hoax, misperception or other mundane cause.

(4)“Strangeness” Rating of 5 (out of a potential score of 14). The sighting has a relatively low strangeness rating since several researchers have put forward plausible mundane explanations for the sightings.

 

 

Sections below:

1. Web Resources

2. Book References

3. Other material

  

 

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FBI occupants memo
An FBI memo dated 22 March 1950 refers to flying saucers recovered in New Mexico, with occupants 3 feet tall.

 

 

 

 

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On 30 March 1950, the West German magazine “Der Spiegel” reports Flugkapitan Rudolph Schriever as claiming to have begun work on a flying disc. Later reports stated Schriever claimed to begin work in the spring of 1941, with a prototype ready for testing in early 1944

 

 

 

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On 1 April 1950, as an April Fools joke, the German newspaper Wiesbadener Tagblatt publishes a purported photograph of an alien standing between two men in uniforms and caps

 See separate entry in relation to Koi Alien Photo 4.

 

 

 

 

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On 4 April 1950, President Truman reportedly made remarks about UFOs

 

 

 

 

 

 

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McMinnville photographs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 11 May 1950, Paul Trent allegedly took two photographs of UFOs in McMinnville, Oregon.

This incident is Case 17 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article, since it was referred to in 90 of the books covered by that article.

UFO skeptic Robert Sheaffer has written that “Many UFOlogists rate this case as the strongest photo case on record”.

This incident featured as the fourth best incident in a documentary produced by Paul Kimball entitled “Best Evidence: Top 10 UFO Cases”, purportedly based on the results of a survey conducted by Paul Kimball in 2005/2006 of “a select group of the world’s leading UFO researchers”.

These photographs have also featured in:

* a list of the “Top 10” UFO cases produced by James Carrion (in 2006),

* a list of five noteworthy cases produced by Richard Dolan (in his book “UFOs and the National Security State: Volume 1”)

* a list of the “Top 10” UFO cases produced by Stanton Friedman as part of a survey by the Fortean Times in 2007.

* a list of seven UFO cases produced by Brad Sparks (in 1999)

* a list of twenty UFO cases produced by Bruce Maccabee

* a list of the best four photographic UFO cases produced by Ronald Story

* a list by Paul Kimball of his own nominations for the top 10 cases.

 

 

Isaac Koi’s “ICES” Rating for this sighting = 21,840 (out of a potential score of 14*14*14*14 i.e. 38,416)

(1) “Impact” Rating of 14 (out of a potential score of 14), because it is Case 17 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article.

(2) “Credibility” Rating of 10 (out of a potential score of 14) because while many ufologists suggest that the Trents could not, or at least did not, hoax the images a few other researchers (notably Robert Sheaffer) have put forward some reasons for considering the photographs to have been hoaxed.

(2) “Expert” Rating of 13 (out of a potential score of 14). It is given this high rating because (at the time of writing) it has been included in quite a few of the short lists of the best cases produced by various UFO researchers that have been compiled by Isaac Koi (see the “Best UFO Cases" article at PART 3: Existing lists by various individuals).

(4)“Strangeness” Rating of 12 (out of a potential score of 14). The sighting has a relatively high strangeness rating since it would be very difficult to reconcile the images and accompanying witness evidence with a misperception or misidentification of a mundane stimulus. The key issue is one of the credibility of the eyewitnesses and photographs.

 

 

Sections below:

1. Web Resources

2. Book References

3. Other material

 

 

 

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Gallup Poll
On 20 May 1950, Gallup issues news release about a second Gallup Poll to include questions on UFOs. 5% of respondents indicated they thought “these flying saucers” were “comets, shooting stars, something from another planet”.

 

 

 

 

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On 29 May 1950, Captain Willis Sperry reports a sighting on a flight from Washington DC to Tulsa, Oklahoma..

 

 

 

 

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Great Falls film

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During August 1950, the Great Falls, Montana movie was taken by Nicholas Mariana, the manager of the Great Falls baseball team. Commonly referred to as “the Great Falls Film” or “the Montana Film”.

(The date of the sighting has been one of the many issues that has been the source of debate. 15 August and 5 August 1950 are both commonly suggested in various sources.)

This incident is Case 41 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article, since it was referred to in 58 of the books covered by that article.

The Great Falls film was one of two motion pictures of UFO sightings considered by the Robertson Panel, organized by the CIA, in January 1953.

In his book “UFOs Explained” (1974), Philip J Klass referred to the Great Falls footage as “the most impressive and famous UFO movie”. In his book “Scientific Ufology” (1999), Kevin D Randle wrote that the Great Falls footage “would become one of the best, and, therefore most controversial pieces of physical evidence available”.

This incident has also featured in a list of cases produced by British ufologist Gary Heseltine for the Fortean Times in 2007 as part of a survey of various researchers of the ten cases from 1947 onwards that interested them the most.

 

Isaac Koi’s “ICES” Rating for this sighting = 7,020 (out of a potential score of 14*14*14*14 i.e. 38,416)

(1) “Impact” Rating of 13 (out of a potential score of 14), because it is Case 41 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article.

(2) “Credibility” Rating of 10 (out of a potential score of 14) because the debate regarding this incident has centered on what was filmed, rather than whether the incident was a hoax - although there have been several persuasive suggestions that the eyewitness accounts included some significant embellishments.

(2) “Expert” Rating of 9 (out of a potential score of 14). It is given this above slightly above average rating because (at the time of writing) it has been included in a small number of the short lists of the best cases produced by various UFO researchers that have been compiled by Isaac Koi (see the “Best UFO Cases" article at PART 3: Existing lists by various individuals).

(4)“Strangeness” Rating of 6 (out of a potential score of 14). The sighting has a below average strangeness rating since there is relatively limited evidence to be explained as to the nature of the objects that was filmed. Several researchers have plausibly suggested that the objects that were filmed were merely aircraft.

 

 

Sections below:

1. Web Resources

2. Book References

3. Other material

 

 

 

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JANAP 146(A)
On 25 September 1950, JANAP(Joint Army Navy Air Publication) 146(A) was officially issued, referring to UFOs.

JANAP 146 was first issued on 1 October 1948 without any reference to UFOs.

JANAP 146 was declassified on 12 December 1953.

 

 

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English newspapers

On 8 October 1950, several Sunday newspapers in England began to publish extracts of various UFO books.

The Sunday Express began its serialisation of Gerald Heard’s “Is Another World Watching Us?”.

The Sunday Dispatch published extracts of Frank Scully’s “Behind the Flying Saucers” and Donald Keyhoe’s “Flying Saucers are Real”.

 

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In November 1950, Damon Knight's short story “To Serve Man" was published in Galaxy Science Fiction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wilbert B Smith memo
On 21 November 1950, a memo written by Wilbert B(rockhouse) Smith refers to “discreet enquiries through the Canadian Embassy staff in Washington” which allegedly obtained information that “flying saucers exist” and that “the matter is the most highly classified subject in the United States, rating higher even than the H-bomb”

 

 

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During December 1950, Project Magnet was established in Canada, under the direction of Wilbert B Smith

 

 

 

 

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Air Ministry study
During 1951, a study of UFO reports was performed in Britain on behalf of the United Kingdom’s Air Ministry, involving Squadron Leader R G Woodman liaising with personnel in the USA..

 

 

 

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Arthur C Clarke's short story "The Sentinel" was published in 1951. It has also been published under the title “Sentinel of Eternity”.

It was the inspiration for the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey”.

 

 

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“The Day the Earth Stood Still”

The movieThe Day the Earth Stood Still”(1951) was directed by Robert Wise.

It was based on a story by Harry Bates (“Farewell to the Master”) and starred Michael Rennie as Klaatu/Carpenter.

 

 

 

 

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“The Man From Planet X”
The movieThe Man From Planet X” (1951) was directed by Edgar G Ulmer.

 

 

 

 

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“The Thing from Another World”
The movieThe Thing from Another World” was directed by Christian Nyby and Howard Hawkes. It was based on John W Campbell Jr.’s “Who Goes There?”.

The movie was remade in 1982 by John Carpenter.

 

 

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During 1951, “Civilian Saucer Investigation” (“CSI”) was formed by Ed J Sullivan, Werner Eichler and Victor Black.

 

 

 

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The January 1951 edition of Cosmopolitanmagazine published an article by Bob Considine entitled “The Disgraceful Flying Saucer Hoax”, resulting in an unsuccessful libel claim by Nick Mariana.

Cosmopolitan, January 1951, pages 32-33, 100-102

 

 

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During February 1951, an article by Richard Wilson was published in Look magazine, quoting Dr. Urner Liddel as suggesting that Skyhook balloons could explain UFO sightings.

 

 

 

 

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Air Force Regulation 190-6
On 24 January 1878, Air Force Regulation 190-6 (“AFR 190-6”) detailed USAF policy on dissemination of information.

 

 

 

 

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Flying Saucer Working Party
During June 1951, the British Ministry of Defence’s “Working Party on Flying Saucers” produces its final report.

The cover sheet for the report read as follows: “Ministry of Defence : Directorate of Scientific Intelligence and Joint Technical Intelligence Committee : UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECTS : DSI/JTIC Report No. 7”.

 

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Lubbock Lights sightings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 25 August 1951, several college professors from Texas Technological College at Lubbock (W I Robinson, A G Oberg, W L Ducker) and others report observing a v-shaped formation of bluish green lights passing over Lubbock, Texas.

Part of the “Lubbock Lights” sightings.

This incident is Case 31 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article, since it was referred to in 66 of the books covered by that article.

This incident featured in the results of a survey in 1965 by Jacques Vallee of the opinion of various UFO groups as to the most significant UFO sightings.

 

Isaac Koi’s “ICES” Rating for this sighting = 8,112 (out of a potential score of 14*14*14*14 i.e. 38,416)

(1) “Impact” Rating of 13 (out of a potential score of 14), because it is Case 31 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article.

(2) “Credibility” Rating of 13 (out of a potential score of 14) because the relevant professors are highly credible witnesses. The debate regarding their sightings has centered on what was actually seen.

(2) “Expert” Rating of 8 (out of a potential score of 14). It is given this slightly above average rating because (at the time of writing) it has not been included in any of the short lists of the best cases produced by various UFO researchers that have been compiled by Isaac Koi (see the “Best UFO Cases" article at PART 3: Existing lists by various individuals) but did feature in the results of a survey in 1965 by Jacques Vallee of the opinion of various UFO groups as to the most significant UFO sightings.

(4)“Strangeness” Rating of 6 (out of a potential score of 14). The sighting has a relatively low strangeness rating since there is relatively limited evidence to be explained as to the nature of the objects seen. Several researchers have suggested mundane explanations, particularly birds reflecting lights.

 

 

Sections below:

1. Web Resources

2. Book References

3. Other material

 

 

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Carl Hart Jr, a freshman at Texas Tech, claimed to have taken pictures of the lights on the night of 31 August 1951.

 

 

 

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In or around September 1951, Lieutenant Cummings was released from active service. Captain Edward Ruppelt asked to head Project Grudge.

 

 

 

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On 10 September 1951, there was an incident involving a student radar operator at the Fort Monmouth, New Jersey radar center, with further radar and visual sighting reports in the area later the same day and on the following day.

 

 

 

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On 1 October 1951, Lieutenant Cummings briefsGeneral Cabell on lack of investigation of UFO reports by ATIC. Lieutenant Cummings and Lieutenant Colonel Rosengarten ordered to set up a new revitalised Project Grudge.

 

 

 

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On 27 October 1951, Project Grudge was officially re-activated.

 

 

 

 

 

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Project Twinkle report
On 27 November 1951, at the Cambridge Research Laboratory’s produces its final report on “peculiar light phenomena that had been observed in the skies of the southwestern United States”. (The relevant observations are commonly referred to as “green fireballs”).

(The relevant report is commonly referred to as “the Project Twinkle report”)

 

 

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Grudge Status Report
On 30 October 1951, Project Grudge Status Report Number 1 was issued. This was the first in a series of “Status Reports” issued by Project Grudge, a practice continued by Project Bluebook.

 

 

 

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During December 1951, Civilian Saucer Investigation (“CSI”) was formed.

Members included Walter Riedel.

 

 

 

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On 26 December 1951, Colonel S H Kirkland, of Colonel Dunn's staff, and Captain Edward Ruppelt left Dayton for a two-day conference to outline to Battelle Memorial Institute (referred to by Captain Ruppelt as “Project Bear”) the proposed project to (a) design a UFO reporting form and (b) perform a statistical study of all UFO reports.

 

 

 

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During January 1952, the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (“APRO”) of Tucson, Arizona was founded by Mrs Coral E Lorenzen and her husband, Leslie James (“Jim”) Lorenzen.

 See the separate entry in relation to APRO.

 

 

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Air Force Regulation 202 revised
On 5 February 1952, Air Force Regulation 202 (“AFR 202”) was revised.

 

 

 

 

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Grudge Report 4
On 29 February 1952, Project Grudge issued its Status Report Number 4.

 

 

 

 

 

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During March 1952, Project Grudge was redesignated as Project Blue Book.

 

 

 

 

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US Air Force Press Release
On 3 April 1952, the US Air Force issues a press release stating that it continued to study the UFO problem.

 

 

 

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An article entitled “Have We Visitors from Outer Space” by H B Darrach Jr and Robert Ginna was published in the 7th April 1952 issue of Life mazagine.

 

 

 

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On 22 April 1952, the first meeting was held of the Project Second Storey committee, established by the Canadian Government.

 

 

 

 

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Air Force Letter 200-5
On 29 April 1952, the US Air Force Air Force Letter 200-5 (“AFL 200-5”) entitled “Unidentified Flying Objects Reporting” set forth UFO reporting procedures within the US Air Force, giving Project Blue Book authority to contact any Air Force unit in the USA without going through usual channels.

AFL 200-5 was later modified by the release of AFR 200-2 (26th August 1953).

 

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On 7 May 1952, Ed Keffel, a writer for the O Cruziero magazine, claims to have taken photographs of a UFO from Ilha Dos Amores (“The Island of Lovers”) near Barra da Tijuca, Brazil whilst in the company of Joao Martins.

 

 

 

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On 28 June 1952, an article is published in the German newspaper “Saarbrücker Zeitung”[i] (and is republished in the German newspaper “Berliner Volksblatt” [ii] on 9 July 1952) alleging that a flying disc crashed on Spitsbergen/ Spitzbergen Island in 1952 and had been recovered by the Norwegian Air Force.

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Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (“APRO”) of Tucson, Arizona, founded by Mrs Coral Lorenzen and her husband Leslie J Lorezen, mailed out its first mimeographed bulletin to 52 members during July 1952.

 

 

 

 

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Washington National sightings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Several radar/visual sightings occur near Washington DC during July 1952 and receive considerable publicity.

(Commonly referred to as the Washington National sightings).

 

This incident is Case 8 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article, since it was referred to in 171 of the books covered by that article.

Official US documents about this incident can be found online. See the material on the ambitious “Project Blue Book Archive” website in relation to Project Blue Book Case Number 1649 and Project Blue Book Case Number 1661, which commences at the links provided (and continues on the pages which follow them).

This incident came second in a survey in 1965 by Jacques Vallee of the opinion of various UFO groups as to the most significant UFO sightings.

This incident came seventh in an online poll conducted in March/April 2006 by Paul Kimball of “the UFO case with the ‘best evidence’ ever”. This incident has also featured in a list by Paul Kimball of his own nominations for the top 10 cases.

This incident also featured in a document (“the Rockefeller Briefing Document”) endorsed by Dr Mark Rodeghier (President of CUFOS), Richard Hall (Chairman of FUFOR) and Walter Andrus (President of MUFON) as containing “the best available evidence for the existence of UFOs”.

This incident has also featured in lists by various UFO researchers of the top UFO cases, including the following:

* a list by Don Berliner of “the top 10 cases of World Ufology” in an interview made available on the UFO UpDates discussion List on 14 January 2007.

* a list by James Carrion, the International Director of the Mutual UFO Network, of the “top 10 cases” in an interview in 2006.

* a list of Dennis Balthaser’s “ten favourite cases” in an article in the MUFON Journal in 2003.

 

 

Isaac Koi’s “ICES” Rating for this sighting = 25,480 (out of a potential score of 14*14*14*14 i.e. 38,416)

(1) “Impact” Rating of 14 (out of a potential score of 14), because it is Case 8 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article.

(2) “Credibility” Rating of 14 (out of a potential score of 14) because radar operators saw something on their screens. The debate has centered on what (if anything) was actually detected by the radar systems.

(2) “Expert” Rating of 13 (out of a potential score of 14). It is given this relatively high rating because (at the time of writing) it has been included in many of the short lists of the best cases produced by various UFO researchers that have been compiled by Isaac Koi (see the “Best UFO Cases" article at PART 3: Existing lists by various individuals).

(4)“Strangeness” Rating of 10 (out of a potential score of 14). The sighting has an above average strangeness rating since there is considerable debate as to whether the reported radar returns are explainable by temperature inversions or other mundane causes.

 

 

Sections below:

1. Web Resources

2. Book References

3. Other material

 

 

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Air Force Regulation 200-3
On 2 July 1952, Air Force Regulation (AFR) 200-3, entitled “Reporting Vital Sightings from Aircraft”, sets forth Intelligence regulations governing reporting in accordance with Joint Army-Navy-Air Force Publication 146 (JANAP 146).

Superseded by Air Force Regulation 200-3 dated 13th May 1955.

 

 

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Tremonton film

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Tremonton, Utah incident occurred on 2 July 1952, involving film taken during a sighting by US Navy Warrant Officer Delbert C Newhouse.

Commonly referred to as “the Tremonton film” and “the Utah film”.

This incident is Case 34 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article, since it was referred to in 64 of the books covered by that article.

The Tremonton film was one of two motion pictures of UFO sightings considered by the Robertson Panel, organized by the CIA, in January 1953.

 

Isaac Koi’s “ICES” Rating for this sighting = 5,460 (out of a potential score of 14*14*14*14 i.e. 38,416)

(1) “Impact” Rating of 13 (out of a potential score of 14), because it is Case 34 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article.

(2) “Credibility” Rating of 12 (out of a potential score of 14) because the debate regarding this incident has centered on what was filmed, rather than whether the incident was a hoax.

(2) “Expert” Rating of 7 (out of a potential score of 14). It is given this neutral rating because (at the time of writing) it has not been included in any of the short lists of the best cases produced by various UFO researchers that have been compiled by Isaac Koi (see the “Best UFO Cases" article at PART 3: Existing lists by various individuals), but also is not commonly given by UFO researchers as an example of an incident that can be explained by hoax, misperception or other mundane cause.

(4)“Strangeness” Rating of 5 (out of a potential score of 14). The sighting has a below average strangeness rating since there is relatively limited evidence to be explained as to the nature of the objects that was filmed. Several researchers have plausibly suggested that the objects that were filmed were merely birds.

 

Sections below:

1. Web Resources

2. Book References

3. Other material

 

 

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Nash Fortenberry sighting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pan American Airways UFO sighting involving Captain William B Nash and Second Officer William H Fortenberry occurred on 14 July 1952 above Chesapeake Bay near Newport News, Virginia.

This incident is Case 44 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article, since it was referred to in 57 of the books covered by that article.

This incident featured in a list of the ten “best” case published by Ronald Story in his book “UFOs and the Limits of Science” (1981).

This incident featured in the results of a survey in 1965 by Jacques Vallee of the opinion of various UFO groups as to the most significant UFO sightings. As part of the same survey, NICAP included this case in a list of 5 cases which it nominated as being the best.

This was Project Blue Book Case Number 1444.

 

Isaac Koi’s “ICES” Rating for this sighting = 7,800 (out of a potential score of 14*14*14*14 i.e. 38,416)

(1) “Impact” Rating of 13 (out of a potential score of 14), because it is Case 44 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article.

(2) “Credibility” Rating of 12 (out of a potential score of 14) because this sighting was by several credible witnesses. The debate regarding this incident has focused on what caused the sighting, rather than suggesting a hoax.

(2) “Expert” Rating of 10 (out of a potential score of 14). It is given this above average rating because (at the time of writing) it has been included in a small nubmer of the short lists of the best cases produced by various UFO researchers that have been compiled by Isaac Koi (see the “Best UFO Cases" article at PART 3: Existing lists by various individuals).

(4)“Strangeness” Rating of 5 (out of a potential score of 14). The sighting has a below average strangeness rating since several authors (particularly Philip Klass) have suggested plausible mundane causes for the sighting, particularly a meteor.

 

 

Sections below:

1. Web Resources

2. Book References

3. Other material

 

 

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Salem photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 16 July 1952, a UFO photograph was allegedly taken by United States Coast Guard station phototographer Shell Alpert at Salem, Massachusetts.

This incident is Case 75 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article, since it was referred to in 38 of the books covered by that article.

J Allen Hynek has referred to this photograph as a “widely publicized case”, a “classic” that “has made the rounds in just about every magazine and book on the subject”.

This was Project Blue Book Case Number 1501.

This photograph was listed by Project Blue Book as “unidentified”.

 

 

Isaac Koi’s “ICES” Rating for this sighting = 8,232 (out of a potential score of 14*14*14*14 i.e. 38,416)

(1) “Impact” Rating of 12 (out of a potential score of 14), because it is Case 95 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article.

(2) “Credibility” Rating of 5 (out of a potential score of 14) because there is persuasive evidence that the eyewitness account that accompanied this photo was untrue.

(2) “Expert” Rating of 7 (out of a potential score of 14). It is given this neutral rating because (at the time of writing) it has not been included in any of the short lists of the best cases produced by various UFO researchers that have been compiled by Isaac Koi (see the “Best UFO Cases" article at PART 3: Existing lists by various individuals), but also is not commonly given by UFO researchers as an example of an incident that can be explained by hoax, misperception or other mundane cause.

(4)“Strangeness” Rating of 5 (out of a potential score of 14). The sighting has a relatively low strangeness rating since the photo merely shows unstructured lights.

 

 

Sections below:

1. Web Resources

2. Book References

3. Other material

 

 

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Washington National first events
The first of the well publicised Washington National Radar/Visual Sightings occurred during the night of 19th/20th July 1952.

 

 

 

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Washington National further events
The second set of the well publicised Washington National Radar/Visual Sightings occurred during the night of 26th/27th July 1952.

 

 

 

 

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Winston Churchill memo
On 28 July 1952, Prime Minister Winston Churchill wrote a memo to Secretary of State for Air, Lord Cherwell, asking what the truth was about “all this stuff about flying saucers”

 

 

 

 

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CIA study group memo
A memorandum from Ralph L Clark, Acting Assistant Director of the CIA’s Office of Scientific Intelligence to DDI Robert Amory, Jr, on 29 July 1952 stated that a special study group has been formed to review the situation, involving the OSI and the Office of Current Intelligence (OCI).

 

 

 

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On 29 July 1952, a F-94 attempted an intercept near Port Huron, Michigan.

 

 

 

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On 29 July 1952, Major General John Samford holds a press conference in relation to the well publicised Washington National Radar/Visual Sightings

 

 

 

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“Project A” was established by Dr Warren Hichman during August 1952 at Ohio Northern University to research UFOs.

It closed two years later because it possessed no means of obtaining further information with which to make a study

 

 

 

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An article by Captain Edward J Ruppelt appeared in the August 1952 edition of Air Intelligence Digest.

 

 

 

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The Bellefontaine, Ohio radar/visual incident occurred on 1 August 1952.

 

 

 

 

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CIA concealment memo
On 1 August 1952, Edward Tauss, acting chief of the CIA’s Office of Scientific Intelligence Weapons and Equipment Division, reported on behalf of a special CIA study group in a memorandum for Deputy Assistant Director, SI (Philip Strong).

Tauss urged that the CIA conceal its interest from the media and the public, “in view of their probable alarmist tendencies” to accept such interest as confirming the existence of UFOs.

 

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The Haneda Air Force Base, Japan radar/visual incident occurred on 5 August 1952.

 

 

 

 

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Hynek's poll of astronomers
On 6 August 1952, Dr J Allen Hynek wrote a “Special Report” on an informal survey of astronomers about UFOs during, and following, a American Astronomical Society meeting in Victoria, B.C. in June 1952.

(Commonly referred to as “the Hynek poll of astronomers”)

 

 

 

 

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Response to Churchill
On 9 August 1952, UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill receives a response from the Air Ministry in relation to his request for information about flying saucers.

 

 

 

 

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CIA briefing paper on UFOs
On 14 August 1952, a CIA briefing paper entitled “Flying Saucers” details background of both Air Force and CIA investigations and considers major theories.

 

 

 

 

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CIA paper on IFOs
On 15 August 1952, a CIA briefing paper gives details of “the official explanations of the great majority of sightings of unidentified flying objects” and mentions “possible phenomena which may account for some of the open cases”.

 

 

 

 

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CIA paper on UFO dangers
On 19 August 1952, a CIA briefing paper entitled “Flying Saucers” discusses potential dangers of UFO reports, including the USSR's possible use of UFOs as a psychological warfare tool and deliberate overloading of the US air warning by the Soviets to gain a surprise advantage in any nuclear attack.

 

 

 

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On 19 August 1952, Florida Scoutmaster D S “Sonny” Desvergers and three boy scouts report seeing a UFO in Florida near Palm Beach, Florida.

This incident is Case 39 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article,  since it was referred to in 59 of the books covered by that article.

This was Project Blue Book Case Number 1981.

Karl Pflock wrote an article about this incident entitled “The Best Hoax in UFO History”.

 

 

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CIA concerns
On 20 August 1952, a CIA memo refers to a meeting with officials during which DCI Walter Bedell Smith had expressed various concerns.

 

 

 

 

 

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CIA paper on USAF stand
On 22 August 1952, a CIA briefing paper discussed the Air Force stand on “Flying Saucers”.

 

 

 

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The September 1952 issue of True magazine includes an article by J P Cahn of the San Fransico Chronicle on his investigation into the story contained in Frank Scully’s book, “Behind the Flying Saucers” published in 1950.

 

 

 

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The Yaak, Montana radar/visual incident occurred on 1 September 1952.

 

 

 

 

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Chadwell memo
On 7 September 1952, H Marshall Chadwell, Assistant Director of OSI, prepares a memorandum for CIA’s DCI Walter Bedell Smith entitled “Flying Saucers”.

 

 

 

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On 12 September 1952, Mrs Kathleen May, her children and Gene Lemon claim to see a creature at Flatwoods, West Virginia after the children had claimed to have seen a UFO.

(Commonly referred to as “the Flatwoods Incident” or “the Flatwoods Monster”).

This incident is Case 38 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article,  since it was referred to in 61 of the books covered by that article.

This was Project Blue Book Case Number 2078.

This incident featured in a list of cases produced by Greg Bishop for the Fortean Times in 2007 as part of a survey of various researchers of the ten cases from 1947 onwards that interested them the most.

 

 

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Chadwell memo
On 17 September 1952, H. Marshall Chadwell, Assistant Director of OSI, prepares a memorandum for CIA’s DCI Walter Bedell Smith entitled “Flying Saucers”.

 

 

 

 

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Operation Mainbrace sightings

Various sightings occurred during Operation Mainbrace, mainly between 19th and 21st September

These incidents comprise Case 90 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article,  since they were referred to in 31 of the books covered by that article.

These incidents also featured in a list of cases produced jointly by British ufologists Dave Clarke and Andy Roberts for the Fortean Times in 2007 as part of a survey of various researchers of the ten cases from 1947 onwards that interested them the most.

 

 

 

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Topcliffe sighting
On 19 September 1952 there were reports of an object seen near RAF Topcliffe, North Yorkshire, England, reportedly chasing a RAF Meteor jet piloted by Flight Lieutenant John W Kilburn during Operation Mainbrace.

This incident is Case 81 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article,  since it was referred to in 34 of the books covered by that article.

 

 

 

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Aircraft carrier sighting
On 20 September 1952, U.S. newspaper reporter Wallace Litwin claims to take photograph of silver sphere in the air whilst aboard the aircraft carrier “Franklin Roosevelt” in the North Sea during NATO’s Operation Mainbrace.

 

 

 

 

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North Sea sighting
On 21 September 1952, six RAF pilots over the North Sea report seeing a shiny, spherical object coming from the direction of NATO’s Operation Mainbrace fleet.

 

 

 

 

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Chadwell recommends NSC attention
On 24 September 1952, a memo from H Marshal Chadwell (CIA Assistant Director for Scientifc Intelligence) to CIA Director Walter Smith discusses CIA research and national security implications of “the problem of ‘unidentified flying objects’, i.e. flying saucers”. Chadwell stated that he considered “this problem to be of such importance that it should be brought to the attention of the National Security Council in order that a community-wide coordinated effort towards its solution may be initiated”.

 

 

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Chadwell memo
A further memo from H Marshal Chadwell (CIA Assistant Director for Scientifc Intelligence) on 2 October 1952 to CIA Director Walter Smith summarised his views and proposed action, including the recommendation that the Director of Central Intelligence “advise the National Security Council of the implications of the ‘flying saucer’ problem and request that research be initiated”.

 

 

 

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The Presque Isle, Maine incident occurred on 10 October 1952.

 

 

 

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On 11 October 1952, the American Optical Society sponsors a symposium on UFOs. Papers given by Dr J Allen Hynek, Dr Menzel and Dr Liddel.

 

 

 

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On 17 October 1952 the Oloron, France incident occurred involving reports of “angel hair” being seen.

 This incident is Case 98 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article,  since it was referred to in 28 of the books covered by that article.

 

 

 

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RAF Meteor sighting
On 21 October 1952, 3 UFOs were reported by Michael Swiney (instructor at the RAF’s Central Flying School at Little Rissington, Gloucestershire) and his student, Lieutenant David Crofts of the Royal Navy, whilst flying a RAF Meteor.

 

 

 

 

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Chadwell on Air Force briefing

On 2 December 1952, a memo from H Marshall Chadwell, Assistant Director of OSI, for CIA’s DCI Walter Bedell Smith entitled “Unidentified Flying Objects” details a further Air Force briefing for CIA on 25 November 1952, stating that “at this time, the reports of incidents convince us that there is something going on that must have immediate attention. … Sightings of unexplained objects at great altitudes and traveling at high speeds in the vicinity of major U.S. defense installations are of such nature that they are not attributable to natural phenomena or known types of aerial vehicles.”.

Chadwell further stated ‘OSI is proceeding to the establishment of a consulting group of sufficient competence and stature to review this matter and convince the responsible authorities in the community that immediate research and development on this subject must be undertaken’. Chadwell attached a draft memorandum to the National Security Council.

 

 

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Intelligence Advisory Committee
On 4 December 1952, the Intelligence Advisory Committee discussed UFOs and agreed that the Director of Central Intelligence should “enlist the services of selected scientists to review and appraise the available evidence in the light of pertinent scientific theories”.

 

 

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On 6 December 1952, the crew of a USAF B-29 over the Gulf of Mexico reported several unknowns were seen on the airborne scopes and some flashes of light were also seen visually about 190 miles from Galveston. Incident involved the pilot (Captain John Harter), the radar officer (Lieutenant Sid Coleman), the navigator (Lieutenant Cassidy), Master Sergeant Bailey and Staff Sergeant Ferris. (Commonly referred to as “the Gulf of Mexico incident”).

 

 

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CAA press release
On 11 December 1952, the US Civil Aeronautics Administration (“CAA”) issues a press release relating to its report on the radar detection of unidentified targets during the summer of 1952.

 

 

 

 

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Chadwell on British activity
On 18 December 1952, H Marshall Chadwell, Assistant Director of the CIA’s OSI, prepared a memorandum for the record entitled “British Activity in the field of ‘Unidentified Flying Objects’” which refers to a British “standing committee created about sixteen months ago on flying saucers”.

 

 

 

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During 1953, Eugen Sanger proposed the antimatter rocket.

 

 

 

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“Invaders from Mars”
The movieInvaders from Mars” (1953) was directed by William Cameron Menzies.

 

 

 

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“It Came From Outer Space”
The movieIt Came From Outer Space” (1953) was based on a story by Ray Bradbury.

 

 

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“The War of the Worlds”
The movieThe War of the Worlds” (1953) was based on the novel by H G Wells. Screenplay written by Barre Lyndon. Directed by Byron Haskin. Produced by George Pal.

 

 

 

 

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Pentacle Memo
A memo (commonly referred to as “the Pentacle Memo”) by Howard C Cross of the Battelle Memorial Institute dated 9 January 1953 noted that at a meeting on 12 December 1952 “our representatives strongly recommended that [the proposed Robertson Panel] not be set up until the results of our analysis of the sighting-reports collected by ATIC were available”.

 

 

 

 

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Robertson Panel

The Robertson Panel (i.e. the “Scientific Advisory Panel on Unidentied Flying Objects” chaired by Robertson) meets to consider evidence between 14th January 1953 and 19th January 1953.

 

 

 

 

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Durant memo

On 16 February 1953, a memo from Fred C Durant to the Assistant Director for Scientific Intelligence providing a brief history of the meetings of the O/SI Advisory Panel (“the Robertson Panel”) and expressed to set forth “comments and suggestions of the Panel Members which they believed were inappropriate for inclusion in the formal report”. Often referred to as “the Durant Report”. The formal report of the Robertson Panel (often referred to as “the Robertson Report”) appears at Tab 1 to the Durant Report.

 

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On 15 March 1878, “World Contact Day” was organised by Albert K Bender, involving a mass attempt to telepathically broadcast a message to extraterrestrials beginning “Calling occupants of interplanetary craft!”.

 

 

 

 

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Miller-Urey Experiment
On 15 May 1953, the journal Science includes an article by Stanley Miller (a graduate student under the supervision of Harold Urey) entitled “Production of Amino Acids Under Possible Primitive Earth Conditions”. (Commonly referred to as the “Miller-Urey Experiment”).

 

 

 

 

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Air Force FLYOBRPTS
On 25 July 1953, USAF’s ATIC produces guide entitled “How to make FLYOBRPTS” for use by intelligence officers or anyone else who might be required to submit a Report of a unidentified Flying Object (a FLY OB RPT or “FLYOBRPT”).

 

 

 

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During August 1953, 4602nd Air Intelligence Squadron began to take over all field investigations for Project Bluebook.

[Date to be checked - different sources give different dates during 1953.]

 

 

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The Rapid City, South Dakota, radar-visual jet case incident occurred on 5-6 August 1953.

[Date to be checked - There has been some confusion over the date of this incident. Ruppelt states a date of 12 August 1953, which is repeated by several authors. Project Blue Book documents indicate the date was 5 August 1953].

 

 

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On 16-18 August 1953, “Flying Saucers International” (“FSI”) holds an event in the Hollywood Hotel, Los Angeles billed as “The World’s First Flying Saucer Convention”.

 

 

 

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On 23 August 1953, an object was filmed emerging from a cloud over Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (then an Australian territory) by Thomas C Drury, Deputy Director of the Department of Civil Aviation (commonly referred to as “the Drury movie film”).

 

 

 

 

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Air Force Regulation 200-2
Air Force Regulation 200-2 (“AFR 200-2”) dated August 26, 1953 superseded the more complicated reporting system in Air Force Letter 200-5 issued April 29, 1952.

(AFR 200-2 was subsequently superseded by Air Force Regulation 80-17 dated 1966.0919.)

 

 

 

 

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KLEE station identification
The station identification of KLEE (a television station in Houston, Texas) was seen on television sets in England until 14 September 1953. Some authors have suggested a link to UFOs.

 

 

 

 

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British Flying Saucer Bureau
During October 1953, the “British Flying Saucer Bureau” was founded by Edgar L Plunkett.

 

 

 

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Air Force Letter 200-2 modified
Air Force Letter 200-2A (2 November 1953) modified Air Force Letter 200-2 entitled “Unidentified Flying Objects Reporting” (“FLYOBRPT”).

 

 

 

 

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West Malling incident
On 3 November 1953, a UFO was reportedly seen by Flying Officer Terry Johnson and his navigator, Flying Officer Geoffrey Smythe, during a flight in a Vampire fighter from RAF West Malling.

(Commonly referred to as “the West Malling incident”).

 

 

 

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On 23 November 1953, the Kinross Air Force Base, Michigan F-89 jet chase / alleged "disappearance" occurred over Soo Locks, Michigan.

This incident involved pilot Lt. Felix Moncla Jr and radar observer Lt R R Wilson.

This incident is Case 54 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article,  since it was referred to in 52 of the books covered by that article.

This incident came seventh in a survey in 1965 by Jacques Vallee of the opinion of various UFO groups as to the most significant UFO sightings.

 

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During 1954, a photograph was allegedly taken in Taormina, Sicily by Giuseppe Grasso showing four men standing on a bridge apparently gazing at 2 UFOs.

 

 

 

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During 1954, the “Universal Articulate Interdimensional Understanding of Science Academy of Science” (“Unarius”) was founded by Ernest Norman and Ruth Norman.

 

 

 

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During February 1954, “Civilian Saucer Intelligence” (“CSI”) was formed in New York..

 

 

 

 

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Stephen Darbishire photo
On 15 February 1954, thirteen-year-old Stephen Darbishire allegedly takes a UFO photo near Lake Coniston, Cumbria, England. (Sometimes referred to as “the Coniston Saucer”).

This incident is Case 91 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article,  since it was referred to in 31 of the books covered by that article.

This photograph has been referred to as “the first UFO photograph ever taken in Britain” (Westmoreland Gazette, 8 October 2004).

As a result of the press coverage of this photograph, Stephen Darbishire and his father were invited to Buckingham Palace to meet one of the Duke of Edinburgh’s private secretaries (the Royal Equerry, RAF Squadron Leader Sir Peter Horsley).

This incident has also featured in a list of cases produced jointly by British ufologists Dave Clarke and Andy Roberts for the Fortean Times in 2007 as part of a survey of various researchers of the ten cases from 1947 onwards that interested them the most.

 

 

 

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JANAP 146(C)
On 10 March 1954, JANAP (“Joint Army-Navy-Air Force Publication”) 146(C) CIRVIS (“Communication Instructions For Reporting Vital Intelligence Sightings from Airborne and Waterborne Sources”) supersedes JANAP 146 (B).

 

 

 

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The April 1954 issue of True magazine contained an article by Captain Edward Ruppelt.

 

 

 

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On 4 April 1954, the first annual Giant Rock Convention organised by George Van Tassel. The conventions continued until 1977.

 

 

 

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BOAC stratocruiser sighting
On 29 June 1954, the British Overseas Airways Corporation (“B.O.A.C.” or “BOAC”) stratocruiser “Centaurus” sighting occurred near Goose Bay, Labrador during a flight from New York’s Idlewild Airport to London, involving pilot Captain James Howard and co-pilot Lee Boyd. (Commonly referred to as “the BOAC stratocruiser sighting”.)

This incident is Case 46 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article,  since it was referred to in 55 of the books covered by that article.

This case featured in a list of 5 cases which APRO nominated as being the best in a survey in 1965 by Jacques Vallee.

 

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On 2 July 1954, a USAF F94 Starfire Jet crashed into the village of Walesville, New York, near Griffiss, killing several civilians. (Commonly referred to as “the Walesville Incident”). This crash is sometimes alleged to have occurred during the pursuit of a UFO.

This incident is Case 92 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article,  since it was referred to in 30 of the books covered by that article.

 

 

 

 

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Daily Express poll
On 29 July 1954, the Daily Express newspaper published the results of a survey which included the question “Do you believe in Flying Saucers?”. 16.5 per cent answered “yes”, 65 percent answered “no”.

 

 

 

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Air Force Letter 200-2

On 12 August 1954, Air Force Letter 200-2 entitled “Unidentified Flying Objects Reporting” (“FLYOBRPT”) sets forth procedures for information and evidence materiel pertaining to unidentified flying objects and sets forth the responsibility of Air Force activities in this regard.

This Air Force Letter superseded AFR 200-2 (26 August 1953) including change 200-2A (2 November 1953).

 

 

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On 10 September 1954, Marius Dewilde claims to encounter two beings wearing large helmets in Quarouble, France.

 

 

 

 

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Salandin sighting
On 14 October 1954, Royal Air Force (“RAF”) Flight Lieutenant James R Salandin claims to have seen 3 UFOs whilst flying over Essex in a Gloster Meteor.

 

 

 

 

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Jessie Roestenberg encounter
On 21 October 1954, Mrs Jessie Roestenberg of Ranton, Staffordshire claims to see two figures wearing “ski-suits” in a flying disc.

 

 

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On 28 October 1954, there was a sighting in Rome by various witnesses, including Clare Boothe Luce, allegedly involving reports of “angel hair”.

 

 

 

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On 14 November 1954, a UFO sighting occurred near Forli in Italy, involving the reported failure of a petrol-driven tractor next to a diesel-driven tractor.

 

 

 

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4602d criteria
On 22 November 1954, Colonel John M White (Commander, ATIAE-5 1st Ind) wrote to the Commander of Air Technical Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He referred to meeting on 17 and 18 November 1954 at which, the Commander, 4602dAISS and his staff met with Captain Charles Hardin, ATIC and Doctor J Allen Hynek, for the purpose of discussing relationships in the investigation and processing of Unidentified Flying Object reports. It was agreed that ATIC would furnish the 4602d AISS with “rule of thumb” criteria to be used in investigations.

 

 

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On 16 December 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower commented on UFOs during a press conference.

 

 

 

 

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"This Island Earth"
The MovieThis Island Earth” (1955) was based on the novel of the same name by Raymond F Jones. Directed by Joseph M Newman.

 

 

 

 

 

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Flying Saucer Review established
During January 1955, the "Flying Saucer Review" (“FSR”) magazine was established. Derek Dempster was its editor until September 1956.

 

 

 

 

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Broadlands encounter
On 23 February 1955, Briggs (a bricklayer) claimed to have an encounter with a flying saucer over the grounds of the Hampshire residence Lord Mountbatten, “Broadlands”.

 

 

 

 

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Bluebook Special Report 14
Project Blue Book Special Report Number 14 (dated 5 May 1955) was entitled “Analysis of Reports of Unidentified Aerial Objects”. It was based on studies by the Battelle Memorial Institute.

 

 

 

 

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Air Force Regulation 200-3
On 31 May 1955, Air Force Regulation (AFR) 200-3, entitled “Reporting Vital Sightings from Aircraft”, sets forth Intelligence regulations governing reporting in accordance with Joint Army-Navy-Air Force Publication 146 (JANAP 146). Superseded Air Force Regulation 200-3 dated 2nd July 1952. Superseded by AFR 55-88 dated 22nd October 1955.

 

 

 

 

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Dorothy Kilgallen articles
On 23 May 1954, articles by Kilgallen, Dorothy of the New York Journal-American published in various American newspapers claimed she had been told by “a British official of cabinet rank” that British scientists and airmen had “examined the wreckage of one mysterious flying ship” and are convinced that “these strange aerial objects are not optical illusions or Soviet inventions, but are actually flying saucers which originate on another planet”.

 

 

 

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In Kelly-Hopkinsville, Kentucky members of the Sutton family reported strange creatures allegedly besieging their farmhouse during the night of 21 / 22 August 1955.

This incident is Case 14 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article,  since it was referred to in 92 of the books covered by that article.

This incident has featured in a list of cases produced by Greg Bishop as part of a survey by the Fortean Times in 2007 of various researchers of the ten cases from 1947 onwards that interested them the most.

 

 

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On 4 October 1955, Senator Richard Russell reports seeing a disc shaped object from a train in the Transcaucasia region of the USSR.

 

 

 

 

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Air Force Regulation 55-88
On 22 October 1955, Air Force Regulation (“AFR”) No. 55-88 states Air Force responsibilities for reporting prescribed by JANAP 146 directives, “Canadian-United States Communications Instructions for Reporting Vital Intelligence Sightings”. Superseded Air Force Regulation (AFR) 200-3, dated 13th May 1955. Superseded by Air Force Manual (AFM) 55-11 dated 20 May 1968.

 

 

 

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On 24 October 1955, the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomenon ("NICAP") was incorporated.

See main entry in relation to NICAP.

 

 

 

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IUSAF Press Release
On 25 October 1955, the US Air Force issues press release which purports to summarise Project Blue Book Special Report Number 14.

 

 

 

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“Earth vs. the Flying Saucers”
The movieEarth vs. the Flying Saucers” (1956) (also referred to as “Earth versus the Flying Saucers”) was directed by Fred F Sears, with special effects by Ray Harryhausen. It was produced by Charles H Schneer.

 

 

 

 

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“Forbidden Planet”
The movieForbidden Planet” (1956) was directed by Fred M Wilcox.

 

 

 

 

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“Invasion of the Body Snatchers”
The movieInvasion of the Body Snatchers” (1956) was based on the novel “The Body Snatchers” (1955) by Jack Finney. Directed by Don Siegel. Produced by Walter Wanger. Remade in 1978.

 

 

 

 

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“Unidentified Flying Objects"
The movie: “Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO) : The True Story of Flying Saucers” (1956), based on the experiences of Albert M Chop. It was directed by Winston Jones and produced by Clarence Greene.

 

 

 

 

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Lakenheath incident
The Lakenheath /Bentwaters radar/visual episode occurred during the night of 13th-14th August 1956.

This incident is discussed as “Case 2” in the Condon Report, which states that “The preponderance of evidence indicates the possibility of a genuine UFO in this case”.

This incident is Case 21 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article,  since it was referred to in 83 of the books covered by that article.

This was Project Blue Book Case Number 4294.

This incident featured in a document (“the Rockefeller Briefing Document”) endorsed by Dr Mark Rodeghier (President of CUFOS), Richard Hall (Chairman of FUFOR) and Walter Andrus (President of MUFON) as containing “the best available evidence for the existence of UFOs”.

This incident has also featured in lists by various UFO researchers of the top UFO cases, including the following:

As part of a survey of various researchers conducted by the Fortean Times in 2007 of the ten cases from 1947 onwards that interested them the most, this incident featured in lists of cases produced by the following:

  • British ufologist Nick Pope
  • British ufologist Gary Heseltine
a joint list by British ufologists Dave Clarke and Andy Roberts

 

 

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Metalaw
On 10 September 1956, Andrew Haley presents a paper on metalaw at the 8th IAF Congress

 

 

 

 

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Hoyle's "The Black Cloud"
During 1957, Fred Hoyle wrote the novel “The black cloud”.

 

 

 

 

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“Invasion of the Saucer Men”
The movieInvasion of the Saucer Men” (1957) was directed by Edward L Cahn.

 

 

 

 

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Straith letter hoax
During 1957, George Adamski receives a letter purporting to be signed by “R E Straith” of the US Department of State.

 

 

 

 

 

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West Freugh incident
On 4 April 1957, the West Freugh(Scotland) radar incident occurred.

 

 

 

 

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Room 801 article
On 17 June 1957, the Sunday newspaper “Reynolds News” printed a story entitled “Flying Saucers are no longer a joke : THE SECRET OF ROOM 801” on the British Air Ministry’s investigations of UFOs.

 

 

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During July 1957, the 4602nd Air Intelligence Service Squadron (“4602nd AISS”) disbanded and Project Blue Book investigation activities transferred to the 1006th Air Intelligence Service Squadron (“1006th AISS”).

 

 

 

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The RB-47 radar/visual incident occurred during a flight over Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma, South Central United States during the early hours of the morning on 17 July 1957.

This incident is Case 63 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article,  since it was referred to in 45 of the books covered by that article.

This was Project Blue Book Case Number 4810.

This incident featured as the top incident in a documentary produced by Paul Kimball entitled “Best Evidence: Top 10 UFO Cases”, purportedly based on the results of a survey conducted by Paul Kimball in 2005/2006 of “a select group of the world’s leading UFO researchers”.

As part of a survey by the Fortean Times in 2007 of various researchers of the ten cases from 1947 onwards that interested them the most, ufologist Jerome Clark indicated he considered this incident to be “the most evidential”.

This incident has also featured in lists by various UFO researchers of the top UFO cases, including the following:

a list by Paul Kimball of his own nominations for the top 10 cases.

 

 

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On 14 September 1957, the Rio de Janeiro newspaper O Globo published a letter which its columnist Ibrahim Sued claimed to have received a few days earlier. The letter referred to the sighting of a flying disk near Ubatuba, Sao Paulo a few days before the letter was written, which reportedly disintegrated into fragments. The author of the letter purported to enclose a small sample of the fragments. Commonly refered to as “the Ubatuba residue”, “the Ubatuba fragments” and “the Ubatuba incident”.

 

This incident is Case 28 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article,  since it was referred to in 69 of the books covered by that article.

This was Project Blue Book Case Number 4955. 

 

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Sputnik 1 was launched on 4 October 1957.

 

 

 

 

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On 16 October 1957, Antonia Villas-Boas claimed to have been abducted at about 1am, near Sao Francico de Salles in Minas Gerais, Brazil

This incident is Case 7 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article,  since it was referred to in 174 of the books covered by that article.

This incident has also featured in a list of cases produced by Greg Bishop as part of a survey by the Fortean Times in 2007 of various researchers of the ten cases from 1947 onwards that interested them the most.

 

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The Levelland, Texas incident, involving reports of interference with car headlights and engines, occurred during the night of 2/3 November 1957.

This incident is Case 16 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article,  since it was referred to in 91 of the books covered by that article.

This incident featured in a document (“the Rockefeller Briefing Document”) endorsed by Dr Mark Rodeghier (President of CUFOS), Richard Hall (Chairman of FUFOR) and Walter Andrus (President of MUFON) as containing “the best available evidence for the existence of UFOs”.

This incident has also featured in lists by various UFO researchers of the top UFO cases, including the following:

a list by Don Berliner of “the top 10 cases of World Ufology” in an interview made available on the UFO UpDates discussion List on 14 January 2007.

 

 

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Sputnik 2 launched, containing Laika the dog, was launched on 3 November 1957.

 

 

 

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The Fort Itaipu, Brazil sighting by two sentries occurred at about 2 am on 4 November 1957, with alleged injuries and electromagnetic effects.

This incident is Case 70 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article,  since it was referred to in 40 of the books covered by that article.

This incident featured in the results of a survey in 1965 by Jacques Vallee of the opinion of various UFO groups as to the most significant UFO sightings.

This was Project Blue Book Case Number 5119. 

 

 

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The Kirtland AFB runway radar/visual incident occurred on 4 November 1957.

 

 

 

 

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DoD general press release
On 5 November 1957, the US Department of Defense issued a news release stating that no evidence had been discovered to confirm the existence of so-called “Flying Saucers” and details methods of investigation (Press Release Number 1083-58).

 

 

 

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On 5 November 1957, Reinhold Schmidt, a grain buyer, claims to have spoken, in “high German”, to the crew of a UFO that had allegedly landed to make repairs near Kearney, Nebraska.

This incident is Case 76 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article,  since it was referred to in 38 of the books covered by that article. 

 

 

 

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DoD Levelland press release
On 15 November 1957, the US Department of Defense issued a news release in relation to specific UFO reports, including Levelland.

 

 

 

 

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Cynthia Appleton encounters
On 18 November 1957, Mrs Cynthia Appleton of Aston, Birmingham, England claims to see the “materialisation” of a man in her up-stairs sitting room. This was the first in a series of alleged encounters.

This incident is Case 84 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article,  since it was referred to in 33 of the books covered by that article.

This incident has also featured in a list of cases produced jointly by British ufologists Dave Clarke and Andy Roberts for the Fortean Times in 2007 as part of a survey of various researchers of the ten cases from 1947 onwards that interested them the most.

 

 

 

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Silpho Moor article
On 9 December 1957, an article in the Scarborough Evening News features an object allegedly found on Silpho Moor. The Silpho Moor object has been linked by some researchers to UFOs.

 

 

 

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“The Blob”
The MovieThe Blob” was directed by Irwin S Yeaworth and starred Steve McQueen.

 

 

 

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During 1958, theoretical work begins on Project Orion, which considered the feasibility of constructing a nuclear-pulse rocket powered by nuclear fission, using nuclear bombs for propulsion

 

 

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On 16 January 1958, Almiro Barauna allegedly took several UFO photos near Trindade Island, Brazil (east of Rio de Janeiro) while on board the ship Almirante Saldanha, which was conducting research for the International Geophysical Year (“IGY”).

 

The Trindade Island photographs have been referred to as “the most famous of all purported photographs of a UFO” (by Donald Menzel and Lyle Boyd in their book “The World of Flying Saucers”, 1963).

This incident is Case 26 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article,  since it was referred to in 72 of the books covered by that article.

This incident came third in a survey in 1965 by Jacques Vallee of the opinion of various UFO groups as to the most significant UFO sightings. This case featured in a list of 5 cases which APRO nominated as being the best in the same survey.

The Trindade Island photographs were the only photos to get their own chapter in a document (“the Rockefeller Briefing Document”) endorsed by Dr Mark Rodeghier (President of CUFOS), Richard Hall (Chairman of FUFOR) and Walter Andrus (President of MUFON) as containing “the best available evidence for the existence of UFOs”.

This incident has been included within various lists of the best UFO cases produced by various researchers. For example:

  • a list by Bruce Maccabee of 20 cases which give “the best evidence for an extraterrestrial origin for the UFO phenomenon”.
  • a list by Ronald Story of the 4 best photographic cases.
a list of twenty UFO cases produced by Bruce Maccabee in 1999 in response to a challenge to produce “the best evidence for an extraterrestrial origin for the UFO phenomenon”.

 

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On 22 January 1958, Donald Keyhoe appears as a guest on CBS television program, “Armstrong Circle Theater” in a presentation entitled “UFO, The Enigma of the Skies”. Dr Menzel was also interviewed.

 

 

 

 

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Air Force Regulation 200-2 revised
During February 1958, US Air Force Regulation 200-2 (“AFR 200-2) was revised, inter alia, to eliminate portions which might provoke suspicion or misinterpretation by the public.

 

 

 

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On 22 February 1958, Olavo Fontes privately circulated a report on the alleged abduction of Villas Boas.

 

 

 

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Panel report release
On 9 April 1958, a summary of the Robertson Panel report was released to Donald Keyhoe.

 

 

 

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On 8 August 1958, an informal hearing on UFOs was held by the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Atmospheric Phenomena (a sub-committee of the House Select Committee on Astronautics and Space Exploration), chaired by Congressman John McCormack.

 

 

 

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On 25 September 1958, Viktor Schauberger (an Austrian who claimed to have worked on flying saucer technology under the Nazis) dies.

 

 

 

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DoD press release
On 6 October 1958, the US Department of Defense issues a news release stating that the UFO “unknowns” remained below 2 percent in the 1270 new reports received in the previous 13 months, and details methods of investigation (Air Force Fact Sheet Number 986-58).

 

 

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On 26 October 1958, the incident at Loch Raven Dam, Maryland, near Baltimore occurred allegedly involving Alvin Cohen and Phil Small experiencing a close encounter and engine failure.

This incident is Case 100 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article,  since it was referred to in 27 of the books covered by that article.

This was Project Blue Book Case Number 6148. 

 

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On 20 December 1958, Hans Gustafsson and Stig Rydberg claim that “jellylike creatures” attempted to drag them toward a craft in the early morning whilst driving to Helsingborg, Sweden.

 

 

 

 

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"Plan 9 From Outer Space"
The Movie “Plan 9 from Outer Space" was written, directed and produced by Edward D Wood. It starred Bela Lugosi.

 

 

 

 

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NASA Exobiology Division
During 1959, NASA founds the Exobiology Division.

 

 

 

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During 1959, Captain Edward Ruppelt writes a revised edition of his book, “The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects” (1956) with 3 extra chapters.

[Need to check date – some sources state 1959, other sources state 1960. No indication on the revised edition of its date.]

 

 

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During 1959, “The Twilight Zone” television series begins broadcasting on CBS.

 

 

 

 

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DoD "record low"
On 22 January 1959, the US Department of Defense issues a news release entitled “Air Force UFO Study Shows ‘Unknowns’ Decreasing”, which states that the Air Force “has set a record low for the number of cases classified as ‘unknown’, which is down to less than 1%”.

 

 

 

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On 24 February 1959 there was a UFO sighting involving Captain Peter W Killianand co-pilot John Dee on an American Airlines cargo plane during a flight from Newark to Detroit.

 

 

 

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Reverend W B Gill and a group of his native Papuan parishoners claim to see a saucer on the evenings of 26th, 27th and 28th June 1959 at Boianai mission, Papua New Guinea. (Commonly referred to as “the Father Gill sightings”).

This incident is Case 15 in Isaac Koi's "Top 100" article,  since it was referred to in 92 of the books covered by that article.

As part of a survey by the Fortean Times in 2007 of various researchers of the ten cases from 1947 onwards that interested them the most, ufologist Greg Bishop indicated that this case was “his favourite unexplained case”.

This incident featured in the results of a survey in 1965 by Jacques Vallee of the opinion of various UFO groups as to the most significant UFO sightings. This case featured in a list of 5 cases which APRO nominated as part of that survey.

This incident has also featured in lists by various UFO researchers of the top UFO cases, including the following:

a list of cases produced by Hilary Evans as part of a survey by the Fortean Times in 2007 of various researchers of the ten cases from 1947 onwards that interested them the most. 

 

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During July 1959, Project Blue Book investigation activities were transferred from the 1006th AISS to the 1127th Field Activities Group.

 

 

 

 

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Bioscience Advisory Committee
During July 1959, NASA's Bioscience Advisory Committee is appointed.

 

 

 

 

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CIA/Swan incident
On 6 July 1959, CIA officials reportedly have a UFO sighting whilst one of them was attempting to “channel” an alien as part of their investigation of a woman, Mrs Frances Swan, that claimed to be able to channel an alien identifying itself as “Affa”

 

 

 

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Air Force Regulation 200-2 revised
On 14 September 1959, Air Force Regulation (“AFR”) 200-2 was revised.

 

 

 

 

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Cocconi/Morrison article
On 19 September 1959, an article entitled “Searching for Interstellar Communication” by Giuseppe Cocconi and Philip Morrison published in the journal Nature, concluding that “the probability of success is difficult to estimate; but if we never search the chance of success is zero”.

 

 

 

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On 24 September 1959, there was a UFO sighting in Redmond, Oregon allegedly leading to attempted intercept by USAF jet fighters.

 

 

 

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On 12 November 1959, the first untethered flight of AVRO Aircraft Ltd’s VZ-9 took place. (Commonly referred to as “the Avrocar”).

 

 

 

 

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"Serious Business" memo
On 24 December 1959, the “UFOs – Serious Business” memo sent out by the US Air Force Inspector General.

 

 

 

 

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Bracewell probe article
During 1960, the journal Nature published an article by Ronald Bracewell which discusses the possibility of extraterrestrial intelligences using interstellar probes