Thursday, August 6, 2009

UFOs One Year at a Time: 1966

Beverly, Massachussetts, USA April 22, 1966

The events of that evening began to unfold shortly after 9:00 p.m..

Nancy Modugno, age 11, was laying in bed when she noticed a bright light blinking through her window. She looked out and saw, only forty feet away, an amazing object about the size of an automobile, brightly lit with flashing blue, green, red and white lights. The football-shaped craft made a whizzing, ricocheting sound as it moved over the neighborhood at a very low altitude, just clearing the tops of the houses. As she watched, the thing descended and could be seen behind trees, apparently landing in a large field behind Beverly High School.

Terrified, the astonished girl ran down the stairs and tried to tell her father about what she had seen. He tried to calm her down and went about adjusting the television set, which had mysteriously just lost its picture. Nancy's mother, Claire, was visiting two friends, Barbara Smith and Brenda Maria, in an adjoining apartment at the time. Nancy's father ordered her back to bed, but she became hysterical and refused to leave. At this point, Barbara and Brenda walked in to order a pizza. Seeing Nancy in a fit, the two women attempted to ease her fears and calm her down. They could see the flashing lights in the field, and told Nancy that they would walk over there to prove that it was just a plane.

Barbara and Brenda picked up Claire Modugno and walked down a hill to the field. The three women looked up and saw something they could not have anticipated. There were three objects maneuvering in the sky, halting and circling as if they were playing tag. They were oval-shaped, with bright flashing lights. Two were distant, but one was much closer, apparently right over the school.

The women crossed the field to get a better look. They could see flashing lights on the edge of the craft changing colors from red to green and blue. Brenda waved her arms at the object and it immediately stopped circling and moved across the field towards the women. They were horrified. In her statement, Barbara said:

"It started to come towards us... I started to run. Brenda called, 'Look up! It is directly over us!' I looked up and saw a round object... like the bottom of a plate. It was solid, grayish white... I felt this thing was going to come down on top of me. It was like a giant mushroom."

Out of sheer terror, Barbara and Claire turned and ran up the hill. Brenda was all alone in the field, with the thing only 20 feet above her head. She stated:

"The object appeared larger and larger as it came closer. The lights appeared to be all around and turning. The colors were very bright. When overhead, all I could see was a blurry atmosphere and brightly lit-up lights flashing slowly around... I thought it might crash on my head!"

The others called to her, then she too turned and fled. One of the witnesses was so petrified by the encounter that she literally wet her pants.

While the women ran back to the apartments, the object smoothly moved over the school building. They got on the telephone to alert their neighbors to the spectacle unfolding outside. One woman was already in her yard, watching the flying saucers. And one man, upon looking outside and seeing the discs, called the police.

The police arrived to find a small crowd of people standing outside watching the closest object moving up and down above the school. Jokingly, Officers Bossie and Mahan asked the group, "Where's the airplane?" When the witnesses pointed to the thing, then at high altitude and looking like a star, the officers laughed. Then, suddenly, the disc turned bright red and dropped to a position directly over the school building. At this point, the officers became visibly shaken. Mahan stated, "I observed what seem to be a large plate hovering over the school. It had three lights - red, green, and blue - but no noise... This object hovered... The lights were flashing..." Bossie said, "It hovered and then began gliding. Some of the people got on the ground and were real scared!" They jumped back into the cruiser and drove toward the object, down into the schoolyard. They could see clearly that it was not an airplane or helicopter and that it was shaped like a half dollar, with three lights, red, green & blue, in indentations at the rear of the disc - similar to back-up lights.

Just as the policemen got out of the cruiser, the disc made a couple of passes over the school and began to move slowly away. It picked up speed and was last seen as it disappeared behind buildings. By this time, the two other UFOs had also disappeared, though nobody had seen them leave.


Raymond E. Fowler investigated this case thoroughly for the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP). He also sent a copy of his report to the Condon study group, a group studying UFOs for the U.S. Air Force. The people on that committee who were objectively trying to find the truth about UFOs used the Beverly Case as evidence for the reality of the phenomenon. Other members tried to explain the sighting as a misinterpretation of stars or the planet Jupiter. However, a detailed follow-up analysis by Fowler based on witness interviews showed that the line of sight from the witnesses to Jupiter's position and the line of sight to the approximate location of the object differed by about 50 degrees.

In his book "UFOs, interplanetary visitors," detailed information is provided on the case, such as street names, witnesses names including additionnal witnesses names, more detailed accounts by the main witnesses, as well as similar cases in that region at the same time, with an overall of 22 other cases that remained unexplainable but consistent with an extra-terrestrial origin for the reported phenomenon.


When the Condon Committee released its final report, the Beverly Sighting was Case 6, one of the cases which made specific reference to an alien vehicle. It said, "While the current cases investigated did not yield impressive residual evidence, even in the narrative content, to support a hypothesis that an alien vehicle was physically present, narratives of past events, such as the 1966 incident at Beverly, Mass., "would fit no other explanation if the testimony of the witnesses is taken at full face value."

Craig states (Condon & Gillmor, 1968, pp. 72, 73):

While the current cases investigated did not yield impressive residual evidence, even in the narrative content, to support an hypothesis that an alien vehicle was physically present, narratives of past events, such as the 1966 incident at Beverly, Mass. (Case 6), would fit no other explanation if the testimony of witnesses is taken at face value.

A very slick formulation indeed, it lets the reader think that maybe the testimony of the witness should not be taken at face value but should be considered as erroneous or fabricated, which is precisely what the Condon Committee should have been able to determine. They tried, but could not.

Case 6 is described on Condon and Gillmor (1968) pp. 266-270. The abstract of this case (Condon & Gillmor, 1968) p. 266 is as follows:

Three adult women went onto the high school athletic field to check the identity of a bright light which had frightened an 11-year-old girl in her home nearby, and reported that one of three lights they saw maneuvering in the sky above the school flew noiselessly toward them, coming directly overhead, 20-30 ft. above one of them. It was described as a flowing [sic], solid disc-like, automobile-sized object. Two policemen who responded to a telephone message that a UFO was under observation verified that an extraordinary object was flying over the high school. The object has not been identified. Most of the extended observation, however, apparently was an observation of the planet Jupiter.

The author did not feel particularly embarrassed to explain that the policement reported an extraordinary object flying over the high school where the three girls saw it as automobile-sized and to consider that "apparently" it was the planet Jupiter.

Page 103 has general comments, (while recognizing a radar case as "puzzling" a few lines above) it says:

While the current cases investigated did not yield impressive residual evidence, even in the narrative content, to support an hypothesis that an alien vehicle was physically present, narratives of past events, such as the 1966 incident at Beverly, Mass., (Case 6), would fit no other explanation if the testimony of witnesses is taken at full face value. The weight one should place on such anecdotal information might be determined through psychological testing of witnesses; however, advice given us by psychologists at the University of Colorado Medical Center indicated that such testing would be of questionable significance if done as long as a year or two after the event. Since we had no such impressive cases among more recent sightings, the opportunity for significant psychological testing of witnesses in such cases was not presented. Depending upon the weight given to old anecdotal information it permits one to support any conclusion regarding the nature of UFOs that the individual wishes to draw.

Here again, the report admits that they had not done any "psychological testing" on the child, three women and two policemen that reported the event, suggesting that they may be liars that set up a conspiracy or have had hallucinations, the report does not recognize the existence or the value of Ray Fowler's own conclusion on that aspect.

Also, the hesitations in dismissing as "probably Jupiter" or as a sheer collective lies or independant but corroborative hallucinations says a lot about the Condon team's own psychology: the need to call upon two different dismissal reason, as any psychologist would see, is a clear indication of the embarrassment of the investigators.

The report adds that it is of no use to conduct psychological investigation if it is not immediately, one could then have expected that the Report would recommend further study with resources so that future reports can be investigated immediately when they occur. This was ultimately not the recommendation.

All in all, Condon did not use this case as an indication that there may be something real behind UFO reports, but adopted the line of reasoning that because there are UFOs reported, they should have been better investigated, as if they were investigated, they would turn out mundane, which is why they should not be investigated.


In The Statement on the Unidentified Flying Objects, submitted by James E. McDonald, Senior Physicist, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, and professor, Department of Meteorology, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, to the House Committee on Science and Astronautics at July 29, 1968, Symposium on Unidentified Flying Objects, Rayburn Bldg., Washington, D.C, the case is commented:

5. Perhaps, for present purposes, the foregoing cases will suffice to indicate that there have been significant UFO incidents in cities. Many other examples could easily be cited. Elsewhere (Ref. 2) I have discussed my interviews with witnesses in a case at Beverly, Mass., on the evening of April 22, 1966, where three adult women and subsequently a total of more than half a dozen adults (including two police officers) observed three round lighted objects hovering near a school building in the middle of Beverly. At one early stage of the sighting, one of the discs moved rapidly over the three women, hovering above one of them at an altitude of only a few tens of feet and terrifying the hapless woman until she bolted. This case was quite thoroughly checked by Mr. Raymond E. Fowler, one of NICAP's most able investigators, who has studied numerous other UFO incidents in the New England area.

In his famous lecture "Twenty-Two Years of Inadequate UFO Investigations" at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 134th Meeting, General Symposium, Unidentified Flying Objects, held at the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, on December 27, 1969, he comments the Condon report, and:

Some examples of UFO cases conceded to be unexplainable in the Condon Report and containing features of particularly strong scientific interest: Utica, N.Y., 6/23/55; Lakenheath, England, 8/13/56; Jackson, Ala., 11/14/56; Norfolk, Va., 8/30/57; RB-47 case, 9/19/57; Beverly Mass., 4/22/66; Donnybrook, N.D., 8/19/66; Haynesville, La., 12/30/66; Joplin, Mo., 1/13/67; Colorado Springs, Colo., 5/13/67.


Vallée has filed the case in his "Magonia" database of UFO reports descriptions:
Beverly (Massachusetts). A child saw a blinding, multicolored source of light making a buzzing sound as it flew over the road 15 m away from the house. It seemed to land in a field near the school. Three adults came out to calm the child and also saw the object circling and hovering. They called the police. Two officers arrived and saw the object appearing to "dance" with two other craft. All witnesses then observed the arrival of one helicopter and two aircraft, as the remaining object flew away to the southwest. Police described the object as plate-shaped when stationary above the school building. TV reception was blurred throughout the observation. (Personal)

The short summary is strewn with omissions and small inaccuracies. It would have been essential for example to note that the arrival of the helicopter and two planes allowed the witness to exclude that they confused the reported flying saucers with aircraft and helicopters, since they clearly stated that there was no resemblance between their appearance. In addition it would have been useful to specify that these aircraft showed up following the phone call of the two police officers to the US Air Force which then decided to send its aircraft for a survey of the situation. The lack to mention this fact will undoubtedly let the badly informed reader think that the witnesses have mistaken planes and helicopters for flying saucers.


In the French official investigation of the UFO Phenomenon, GEPAN Technical Note N.4, the case evaluation is the Condon Report is mentionned and criticized:


Case 6 is narrated in CR 266-270. The summary of the case (CR 266) is as follow:

"Three adult women went onto the high school athletic field to check the identity of a bright light which had frightened an 11-year-old girl in her home nearby, and reported that one of three lights they saw maneuvering in the sky above the school flew noiselessly toward them, coming directly overhead, 20-30 ft. above one of them. It was described as a flowing [sic], solid disc-like, automobile-sized object. Two policemen who responded to a telephone message that a UFO was under observation verified that an extraordinary object was flying over the high school. The object has not been identified. Most of the extended observation, however, apparently was an observation of the planet Jupiter."

The majority of the scientists who studied UFOs adopt a more restricted definition by excluding the reports which were identified without hesitation.

Moreover, several members of the Project adopted a different definition for the UFOs, as one can see in the declaration (CR 248) "the preponderance of the evidence indicates the possibility of an authentic UFO in this case" and in CR 256 "the probability of the presence of at least one UFO appears very high."

"The idea that certain UFO can be spaceships, sent towards the Earth by another civilization, living another planet or solar system or a planet associated with another star located at a distance from the Sun, is called the extraterrestrial hypothesis (ETH)."

It is rather ambiguous that CONDON introduces also the term "extraterrestrial reality" (ETR) which represents apparently the belief that the ETH is true. The conclusion of CONDON (CR 25) is that "there is currently no direct proof to allow the claim that UFOs are spaceships from another civilization visiting the Earth." While reaching this conclusion, CONDON takes the position (CR 19) that "if a UFO report can be explained plausibly in ordinary terms, we accept this explanation even if there is not enough evidence so that no doubt is possible."

GEPAN makes a very cautious use of the case itself, in the sense that there is no emphasis on the inconsistence of the Jupiter explanation. GEPAN concentrates on the logical twists used by the Condon Report, indicating how dubious GEPAN was about the scientific value of the Condon Report analysis and interpretations.


In addition to the references reproduced in this site, the following is a mandatory source for anyone interested in the case discussed here: "UFOS: Interplanetary visitors", book by Ramond E. Fowler, 1974, pp. 130-137.

The great Michigan UFO chase of 1966
By Vivian M. Baulch / The Detroit News

On a quiet day in March, 1966, seven eyewitnesses reported an unidentified flying object maneuvering over Livingston and Washtenaw counties. Ordinarily, these reports might have been dismissed by officials as the work of cranks. But this time, the seven witnesses WERE officials -- police officers and sheriff's deputies from the two counties. And their stories were backed up by more than 100 witnesses, including William Van Horn, a civil defense director, and dozens of students who watched the football-shaped object for four hours as it maneuvered near the University of Michigan campus, a nearby airport and a local swamp. The March 14 sightings caused an uproar and the area went on a wild UFO chase.

Three days later on March 17 two Washtenaw County sheriff's deputies, Sgt. Neil Schneider and Deputy David Fitzpatrick saw three or four red, white and green circular objects oscillating and glowing near Milan about 4 a.m. They called Willow Run Airport officials who could not confirm with radar. Two more Washtenaw deputies, BuFord Bushroe and John Foster tried to follow the same type of objects in the northern part of the county on March 20. Livingston and Monroe county residents also reported seeing the objects. The Detroit News carried the police chase story the next day along with a drawing of a quilted football shaped object with lights, dome and antennae. (It was not maize and blue with a big M on it.)

Dexter patrolman Robert Huniwell said he spotted an object in the sky at Quigley and Brand roads between 9:30 and 9:45 p.m.. He said the flying object with red and green flashing lights, came close to the ground, hovered above a scout car and was joined by a second vehicle on its ascent. Washtenaw County Sheriff Douglas Harvey ordered all available deputies to the scene. Six patrol cars, two men in each, and three detectives surrounded the area. They later chased a flying object along Island Lake Road without catching it. Frank Mannor and his family saw the lights from their McGuiness Road farm. "I got within 500 yards of that thing and it looked pyramid-shaped. It had a light here and a light there and what looked like a porthole. "It wasn't like the pictures of a flying saucer and it had a coral-like surface. I've trapped every hole in this county and I've never seen anything like it."

Mannor said the vehicle, by its own lights, appeared to be the length of a car and had a hazy mist under it as it hung above the ground. Mannor's son, a member of the Dexter High School track team, and Mannor's wife also witnessed the object. It rose up to the tree tops and waited awhile and fell back to the ground. It became different colors, white on the ground, blue, then red in the trees, and then came down and changed colors again. It sounded like a ricochet of a bullet, and like a siren, a real high frequency, they said.

Police Chief Robert R. Taylor and Patrolman N.G. Lee came to the farm in response to Mrs. Mannor's call and heard the noise. "I thought it was an ambulance," Lee said. The chief's son, Robert, 16, also saw the red vehicle in the sky at about 10:30 p.m. "It was going on in the east pretty slow, and then it sped up and went west," he said. "It was flashing red and white." Deputy Sheriff Buford Bushroe, who 'lost it in the Trees.' Washtenaw County Deputy Sheriff BuFord Bushroe also observed it. "It looked like an arc. It was round. We turned around and started following it through Dexter for five miles. It was headed west and we stopped. We lost it in the trees. Either the lights went off or it took off with a tremendous burst of speed. It was about 1,500 feet above the ground. It moved along at about 100 mph. We were doing 70 before losing it near Wylie Road." Carloads of college students from nearby University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University converged on the area after hearing radio reports of the sightings. Mannor was asked if it could have been a college prank. He vigorously denied the possibility. "They couldn't rig rigging to it. There was not anything there, There was no way in the world to get out. There were two scout cars on the hill and more at the house." "I know every pothole in this county," he said. "I've never seen anything like it. There's nothing wrong with my eyes and my son has 20/20 vision. We both can't be wrong."

"My wife says we'll move out of here," he said. "She doesn't like that. I never lock the doors. Nobody ever bothers us." An Adrian College professor offered the theory that northern lights may be the objects the deputies tried to chase. On March 22 dozens of residents of Dexter and Hillsdale reported more flying objects emitting strange sounds and lights. Air Force UFO expert Dr. J. Allen Hynek, left, and Dexter Police Chief Robert R. Taylor go over a map showing the sites of UFO sightings in the area. On March 23 a teen from Monroe said he took photos, which looked like a big black blob. The Air Force sent in Blue Book astronomer and UFO expert Dr. J. Allen Hynek who, after a whirlwind probe that lasted two hours and 45 minutes, dismissed the sightings as "swamp gas." Hynek quoted a description of marsh gases by Dutch astronomer Minnaert: "The lights resemble tiny flames, sometimes seen right on the ground, sometimes merely floating above it. The flames go out in one place and suddenly appear in another, giving the illusion of motion. The colors are sometimes yellow, sometimes red and bluegreen." "Marsh gas," Hynek said, "usually has no smell, but sounds like the small popping explosions similar to a gas burner igniting.

The gas forms from decomposition of vegetation. It seems likely that as the present spring thaws came, the gases methane, hydrogen sulfide and phosphine, resulting from decomposition of organic materials, were released." He also said youths playing "pranks with flares" added to the excitement. He dismissed a photo taken March 17 as a time exposure of the moon and Venus. Van Horn, a Hillsdale native who grew up on the edge of a swamp, was outraged by Hynek's findings, asserting that he knew more about swamp gas than Hynek did. He said Hynek ignored his reports that the lights moved and that there was a convex surface between the lights.

A fake photo was taken by Air Force investigator Maj. Raymond Nyls in March 1967 in an attempt to duplicate a photo taken by brothers Grant and Dan Jaroslaw of Harrison Twp. The UFO is actually a block of wood hanging by a string from a children's swing set. Van Horn, a pilot with a commercial rating, objected to the treatment of what came to be known as "the Michigan affair" by the Air Force, charging that "a lot of good people are being ridiculed." Hynek replied that he still believed that marsh gas was the logical explanation for these sightings. Sightings of UFOs in the area continued, but these apparent copycat incidents seemed obviously fake. A Grand Haven man who reported a UFO landing near his home was not believed. Eastern Michigan University Police Chief John E. Hayes examines a Yipsilanti UFO that turned out to be a dry cleaning bag with a plastic cross on the open bottom holding several small candles.

On March 29 more sightings were reported over Michigan. Some from Macomb and Oakland counties, others from Bad Axe, Flint and Ann Arbor. Viewers included Richard Sober of Ann Arbor, an off-duty sheriff's deputy, and Police Chief Ford Wallace of Linden. In Washington the government was urged to release all information on the sightings. In April Frankfort and Marquette joined in with sightings. The Frankfort sighting was identified as a marine flare. The next year brothers Grant and Dan Jaroslaw of Harrison Twp, took photos of objects they claimed were flying over Lake St. Clair. A lie detector test failed to back up their story. Hynek returned to Hillsdale but stuck to his original swamp gas declaration. There were a few more sightings in 1967 in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Ypsilanti and Grand Haven. In February four Ann Arbor residents reported objects flying in formation. And in Grand Haven police confirmed the sightings. Not much came of all the commotion. However the popularity of reporting unusual stuff in the sky to officials kept Selfridge Air Force base busy. By 1968, they were receiving two or three reports of UFO sightings per week.

Portage County UFO Chase
April 17, 1966

REPORT by Richard Hall

One of the most dramatic encounters by police officers with an apparently structured, low-level UFO occurred in the early morning of April 17, 1966. Officers of the Portage County, Ohio, Sheriff's Department first saw the object rise up from near ground level, bathing them in light, near Ravenna, Ohio, about 5:00 A.M.

Ordered by the sergeant to pursue the object, they chased it for eighty-five miles across the border into Pennsylvania, as it seemed to play a cat-and-mouse game with them. Along the route, police officers from other jurisdictions saw the object and joined in the chase. Deputy Sheriff Dale Spaur and Mounted Deputy Wilbur 'Barney’ Neff had left their scout car to investigate an apparently abandoned automobile on Route 224. Spaur described the sighting in these words:

“I always look behind me so no one can come up behind me. And when I looked in this wooded area behind us, I saw this thing. At this time it was coming up . . . to about tree top level. I'd say about one hundred feet. it started moving toward us... As it came over the trees, I looked at Barney and he was still watching the car . . . and he didn't say nothing and the thing kept getting brighter and the area started to get light. . . I told him to look over his shoulder, and he did.

"He just stood there with his mouth open for a minute, as bright as it was, and he looked down. And I started looking down and I looked at my hands and my clothes weren't burning or anything, when it stopped right over on top of us. The only thing, the only sound in the whole area was a hum . . . like a transformer being loaded or an overloaded transformer when it changes. . .

"I was petrified, and, uh, so I moved my right foot, and everything seemed to work all right. And evidently he made the same decision I did, to get something between me and it, or us and it, or whatever you would say. So we both went for the car, we got in the car and we sat there..."

As they watched, the UFO moved toward the east, and then stopped again. Spaur picked up the microphone and reported to the dispatcher. At this time, the object was about 250 feet away, brilliantly lighting up the area ("It was very bright; it'd make your eyes water," Spaur said.) Sergeant Schoenfelt, off duty at the station, told them to follow it and keep it under observation while they tried to get a photo unit to the scene.

Spear and Neff turned south on Route 183, then back east on Route 224, which placed the object to their right, and out the left window. “At this time,” said Spaur. "it came straight south, just one motion, buddy, just a smooth glide . . ."and began moving east with them pacing it, just to their right at an estimated altitude of 300-500 feet, illuminating the ground beneath it. Once more the UFO darted to the north, now left of the car, and they sped up to over 100 mph to keep pace with it. As the sky became brighter with predawn light, Spaur and Neff saw the UFO in silhouette, with a vertical projection at its rear. The object began to take on a metallic appearance as the chase continued. Spaur kept up a running conversation with other police cars that were trying to catch up with them. Once when they made a wrong turn at an intersection, the object stopped, then turned and came back to their position. Police Officer Wayne Huston of East Palestine, Ohio, situated near the Pennsylvania border, had been monitoring the radio broadcasts and was parked at an intersection he knew the Portage County officers would he passing soon. Shortly afterward he saw the UFO pass by with the sheriff's cruiser in hot pursuit. He swung out and joined the chase. At Conway, Pennsylvania, Spaur spotted another parked police car and stopped to enlist his aid, since their Cruiser was almost out of gas. The Pennsylvania officer called his dispatcher. According to Spaur, as the four officers stood and watched the UFO, which had stopped and was hovering, there was traffic on the radio about jets being scrambled to chase the UFO, and ". . . we could see these planes coming in.... When they started talking about fighter planes, it was just as if that thing head every word that was said; it went PSSSSSHHEW, straight up; and I mean when it went up, friend, it didn't play no games; it went straight up” (Transcript of taped interview with Dale Spaur).
Deputy Spauer's Drawing

The Air Force "identified" the UFO as a satellite, seen part of the time, and confused with the planet Venus. Under pressure from Ohio officials, Major Hector Quintanilla, chief of PROJECT BLUE BOOK, had an acrimonious confrontation with witnesses and refused to change the identification, although it was pointed out to him that they had seen the UFO in addition to Venus and the moon at the conclusion of the observation. Major Quintanilla also denied that any jets had been scrambled.

William B. Weitzel conducted an exhaustive investigation on behalf of the NATIONAL INVESTIGATIONS COMMITTEE ON AERIAL PHENOMENA (NICAP), obtaining taped interviews, signed statements, sketches, and all pertinent data which was assembled into a massive report that was made available to congressional investigators.

When the UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO UFO PROJECT was initiated in 1966, a copy of Weitzel’s report was hand-delivered to the director, Dr. Edward U. CONDON, for his consideration. The CONDON REPORT, published two years later, does not mention the case.

Richard Hall

December 10, 1966


WANAQUE, N.J., Oct. 11 (AP). -- Residents and policemen said they saw a brilliant unidentified object flying above Wanaque Reservoir last night.

They described the object as saucer-shaped, about the size of an automobile and glowing with a white brilliance. The reservoir, part of the Newark water supply system, is about 25 miles west of Newark.

Sgt. Ben Thompson said he saw the object as he drove a patrol car near the reservoir.

"I saw the object coming at me," he said. "It went straight over my head, stopped in mid air and backed right up. It then started zig zagging from left to right." "It was so bright I couldn't make out any of its features," he added.

The sergeant said he turned on the flashing red dome-light of his car.

"The instant I started to flash, the object sped away over the reservoir and, without passing over the horizon, disappeared," he said.

PIERRE, S.D., Oct 11. (AP). -- Strange lights in the sky and a sound "like a car on a gravel road" touched off a wave of interest in flying saucers in South Dakota last night.

Officers would not go so far as to say the object appeared to be flying saucers, but some of them in a 100-mile radius of Fort Thompson were routed by curious individual who thought so.


A retired Air Force pilot presented two 35 mm. slides, showing a red saucer-like object against a background of sky and clouds. He claimed to have taken the pictures from the pilot's seat of a C-47 in flight before he retired from the Air Force. The witness' reputation is irreproachable. Frame numbers on the slides and others from the same film roll raised the question whether the pictures were taken under the conditions claimed.
On 9 January 1968 we received two 35 mm. color slides, each showing a distinct flying-saucer-like object against a background of broken clouds. The object was brick-red, flat on the bottom, with a dome on top and a dark band which looked like windows around the dome. One slide was generally blurred, while the other showed sharp outlines of the object against the clouds. A very bright area, spanning one portion of the window-like dark band and extending onto the metallic-appearing body of the object, had the appearance of specular reflection. The cloud background was similar in the two pictures, showing the object to have moved about 100 to the right in picture two as compared with number one.
According to accompanying information, the pictures were taken in Summer 1966 by an officer in the Air Force. He said he had been piloting a C-47 over the Rocky Mountains when he took the UFO pictures from his plane.
The ex-pilot consented to our examination of his photographs on condition that his identity would not be revealed.

Checking the window structure of DC-3 planes (courtesy of Frontier Airlines), which are the same as C-47s, revealed that it would be quite easy to take 35 mm. pictures through the windshield, at ten or twelve o'clock from the pilot's position, without getting any part of the windshield framework in the field of view of the camera.
The UFO photographer and his wife were interviewed at their home. According to the officer's account the UFO incident occurred about 11:00 a.m., when the plane was about 25 mi. SW of Provo. He had turned control of the C-47 over to the co-pilot and gotten his camera ready to take pictures of the mountains ahead. He had set the shutter of his camera [VITO CL Voightlander, Lanthar 2.8 lens] at 1/500 sec. exposure, and adjusted the iris reading to give proper exposure as indicated by the built-in coupled light meter. [This was f 5.6 to 8, he thought]. He was using high speed Ektachrome film, EH 35, ASA 160. He was thus ready to take pictures of the mountains, with camera held in his hands in his lap, when the unknown object appeared at about "ten o'clock." He quickly photographed the object, wound the camera, and got a second picture before the object sped upward and to the right, out of view. He had lost sight of the object momentarily as it went behind the compass at the center of the windshield, then saw it again briefly as it passed through the visible top left corner of the right windshield before the cockpit ceiling blocked his view of the object. The object had been in sight only a few seconds, and had moved in a sweeping path in front of the plane, appearing to accelerate, but making no sudden changes in direction or speed. The officer judged the time interval the object was visible by the time necessary for him to bring the camera up to his eye, snap a picture, wind the film (a single stroke, lever advance), and snap the second picture. This required only a few seconds, and the object vanished very soon after the second picture was taken.

The officer's wife supported his story that they had had the roll of film developed several months after the UFO pictures were taken. The officer stated that there were pictures already on the roll before the UFO shots were taken and after the UFO pictures were taken in July, and the roll was finished during September and October. These later pictures showed park and mountain scenes, as well as a snowstorm scene.
The witness was aware that frame numbers printed on the slides (14 and 11) did not agree with his story that they were taken consecutively on the roll (14 before 11). He indicated, however, that all pictures on the roll were numbered erroneously.
Removal of slides from their mountings revealed that the numbers on the mountings were consistent with frame numbers on the edge of the film itself. Each number on the film was one integer lower than the number on the mounting. This held true also for the UFO shots, frame numbers 11 and 14 yielding pictures with numbers ten and 13 shown on the film edge. These numbers show rather conclusively that the UFO pictures were taken after the snow-storm, rather than in July when the witness was still in the Air Force. They also were not taken on consecutive frames of the roll, and were taken in an order reversed to that claimed. The numbering examination was witnessed by five project staff members.

In view of the discrepancies, detailed analysis of the photographs did not seem justifiable. They were returned to the officer with our comment that they obviously could not be used by us to support claims that the object photographed was other than an ordinary object of earthly origin thrown into the air.

The Condon investigators seem to suggest some discrepancies between the pilot and co-pilot, supposing that the co-pilot should have been aware that the pilot photographed a UFO.
There is nothing in the account to clearly support this allegation, which is just one of the many insinuations against witness that the Condon committee has been accustomed to produce. The pilot photographed the object while the co-pilot was not looking, and later the pilot asked him if he had seen "the object he just photographed" and the co-pilot said that he did not. There is no reason to state that the copilot should have known about the UFO picture. Moreover, the pilot did not report it for fear of ridicule, and even if the co-pilot had seen the object, it is likely that he would have said he did not for the same reason. The pilot only spoke about it after he left service, and only under the condition that his name is not published.
Condon investigators have indicated that "The cloud background was similar in the two pictures, showing the object to have moved about 100 to the right in picture two as compared with number one."
Although the unit of the move (100 meters? 100 feet? 100 yards) is not indicated, it is clear that the object has moved "to the right," rather horizontally more than vertically. This indicates that the object did not stricly "fall" or "raise up", unless the picture had been taken only at a slightly low altitude and had shown an object thrown in the air at an angle, at the moment when it stopped raising and started falling, at the peak of its supposed hyperbolic course.
The notion that the photographs would be showing a terrestrial object thrown in the air is obviously contradictory with their acknowledgement that the pictures show clouds seen from above. As stated in the Condon report: "Lighting of the clouds gave the appearance that one was indeed looking at the tops of sunlit clouds." One can only wonder how some sort of "saucer shaped frisbee" could have been thrown by someone from the ground up above the top of the sunlit clouds, where another person would have waited for it to arrive with a camera.

The commission has searched for discrepancies and made some unspoken allegations of "object thrown in the air", and decided that any detailed analysis of the pictures is "unjustifiable."
The Condon commission's conclusion is not a conclusion in itself, it is not acceptable in strictly scientific terms. Concluding a study by a decision not to perform a detailed analysis cannot be an acceptable conclusion to a study.
The Condon commission has failed to its mission, which was claimed as a "thorough" investigation of the UFO phenomenon. Rather than a detailed analysis of the photographs themselves, they have tried to list "discrepancies" surrounding the photograph.

These photographs should be fully and thoroughly analyzed.

(ABOVE) UFO photograph, New Castle, Pennsylvania, August 2 1966

1966 Tully, North Queensland, Australia
January 19, 1966
FROM Wilson's Almanac

At about 9:00 a.m., George Pedley, a 28-year-old banana farmer, discovered at Horseshoe Lagoon what the Australian media and public came to call a 'flying saucer nest'.

As he rode his tractor, Pedley heard a hissing sound over the sound of his vehicle.

"Suddenly," Pedley told the press later, "an object rose out of the swamp. When I glanced at it, it was already 30 feet above the ground, and at about tree-top level. It was a large, grey, saucer-shaped object, convex on the top and bottom and measured some 25 feet across and 9 feet high. While I watched, it rose another 30 feet, spinning very fast, then it made a shallow dive and took off with tremendous speed. Climbing at an angle of 45 degrees it disappeared within seconds in a south-westerly direction."

In the lagoon was a large circular area, approximately nine metres in diameter, that was clear of reeds and in which the water was rotating slowly. Pedley left, but returned to the site some three hours later; the circular area was covered by a floating mass of green reeds distributed in a clockwise radial pattern.

Tully Nest

George Pedley soon reported the 'nest' to the landowner, Albert Pennisi, who told later the excited media that his dog had been acting strangely that morning, barking loudly and rushing off towards the lagoon at about 5:30 am. Very soon, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) was alerted, and so were the media. The best explanation that the RAAF could come up with was that the nest was created by a willy willy, a type of small whirlwind known to occur in the area and throughout Australia.

Albert Pennisi told the Sun newspaper that before Pedley's experience he had been having dreams about unidentified flying objects: "I'd get them almost every night. And they were beginning to worry me. I couldn't understand them. It was always the same. This thing like a giant dish would come out of nowhere and land nearby. And I would watch it in my dream and get real afraid before it went away."

By the next day, the whole nation was talking about the flying saucer nest of Tully. Ever since, tropical Tully has been famous for more than being Australia's wettest town (annual median rainfall of 4048 mm, or 159.4 inches).

Devil men?

The Brisbane Sunday Mail of January 20, 2002, featured an article, 'Something in the Air', in which 79-year-old Aboriginal elder Jack Muriata recalled seeing a bright light in his childhood.

"Devil men, we Aboriginals call them, or chic ah bunnahs," said Mr Muriata.

"White people call them UFOs, and if you get caught by one, our grandmothers told us, you will die.

"One night I was with my friends and we wandered too far from our camp to the river.

"We were playing in the dunes when this great big ball of light, so bright, you have never seen such a light, came flying down from the sky above us.

"It lit up the whole river, and then it zoomed down low along the banks, like it was looking for us.

"My friends were yelling, 'Run! Run!' and we all took off as fast as we could back towards camp and our mothers.

"You don't want to get caught by the devil man."

Tully residents, the article reported, frequently see UFOs, but not all of them like to talk about the subject.

One Tully shop owner, who asked not to be named in the article, had this to say about his town's unusual reputation.

"They're all nutters, the lot of them," he said. "It's not good for the town, makes us all look stupid, dumb, gullible country clowns if you ask me.

"Other towns get known for their scenery or their history; these people want it to be like, 'Come to Tully, meet the local fruitcakes'."

ABOVE: A saucer type UFO allegedly captured on film at Silver Spring in Maryland, USA. This film is part of the Adamski footage and is widely considered as hoaxed as the rest of his stories and alleged evidence. The movement of the UFO in the last part of the footage indicates an obvious hoax. The interest of it lies in the possibility to compare which type of quality a hoaxer could achieve in 1966, with less dubious films of that time. The difference is stunning.

The above truly strange bit of film was shot over England from a passenger plane in 1966.

This 18 second movie clip (above) shows an UFO flying over Catalina Island California, April 15, 1966. A Coast Guard helicopter filmed it.

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