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The London Times

London, England, TIMES, 17 January 1966, page 10

SKIES WATCHED FOR SPACE OBJECTS
FROM A STAFF REPORTER

Watch has been kept recently for unidentified objects in the sky. Many sightings have been reported of objects which cannot be explained as satellites.

The British branch of the International Sky Scouts, a youth organization formed about eight month sago to foster interest in astronomy and train sky observers, have been operating in small groups in various parts of the country.

They are looking particularly for cigar-shaped or golden spherical objects. The watch will continue whenever the scouts have the time.

There were four sightings in December: on December 5 at 10 p.m. over Enfield; on December 10 at 9 p.m. in the same area; on December 19 at 5 p.m. over Epping; on December 27 at 5:30 a.m. over Hampton.

INCREASED ACTIVITY

An increase in objects has been reported at times when the Americans or Russians have launched satellites. The Sky Scouts keep themselves up to date on the position of known satellites and track them when possible. They need this information to distinguish the satellites from the mysterious objects.

Some of the objects have appeared on several occasions in different parts of the sky. One spherical object has been nicknamed :Tinkerbelle" because it does not seem to follow any normal orbital pattern but appears to move around haphazardly and hover.

When the Sky Scouts are not observing the skies they study astronomy, discuss photographs of unexplained objects, and learn about electro-magnetism. The mysterious objects apparently seem to possess strong electro-magnetic properties. According to the Sky Scouts animals get excited when they are about and car engines are known to have been stopped.

Mr. Brinsley Le Poer Trench, chairman of the International Committee of the International Sky Scouts, has arranged an international "flying saucer spotting day" on June 24, the anniversary of the sighting in 1947 which started speculation about the existence of visitors from outer space. On that day observers from Britain, Canada, the United States, Austria, east and west Germany, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Argentina and Venezuela will be keeping watch on the skies.


London, England, TIMES, 20 January 1966, page 13

In Search of Flying Saucers
By Dr. Allen Hynek

Dr. Hynek, an American astronomer, is adviser to the United States Air Force on reports of unidentified flying objects.

Not long ago passengers on a trans-oceanic flight were thrown from their seats - some had their ribs broken - late one night when their pilot, a man of many years' flying experience, violently swerved to avoid collision with an extremely bright object that he thought was heading directly for his aircraft. The United States Air Force later made a positive identification of the object, which turned out to be an extremely bright meteor, technically known as a fireball, or bolide.

There was no doubt about the identification. Several other aircraft in the general area, but hundreds of miles or more apart, reported by radio their sighting of the same fireball. From these reports the Air Force investigators were able to plot the exact position of the meteor at the moment when the pilot took evasive action. He was more than 30 miles away from it.

Unidentified Flying Objects (U.F.O.s - popularly known as Flying Saucers) exist - but in most cases, as in this example with the pilot of an airliner, they are later identified. Often sober, intelligent citizens, themselves generally not previously acquainted with or particularly interested in the subject of U.F.O.s are suddenly confronted with a phenomenon they cannot explain. Some of these citizens report the incident officially. Often they are moved to report their sighting from a sense of duty.

ORDINARY OBJECTS

Such reports, if made to the United States Air Force, must, by Air Force regulations, be regarded seriously and investigated as far as circumstances permit, regardless of by whom the report has been made. Experience has shown that hoaxing and totally irresponsible reporting is relatively infrequent. Most often, reports are generated by sincere but technically untrained, inexperienced observers who, taken by surprise, are easily but honestly puzzled by ordinary objects - aircraft, birds, balloons - seen under unusual or unexpected circumstances. Less often, but frequently enough, fairly well technically trained people make reports that are especially deserving of attention, most of which the Air Force experts can explain. There remain a few that cannot be accounted for.

Some U.F.O. reports have surprising origins. Last November the United States Air Force received reports of an object from separate pairs of witnesses - one pair playing golf in the late afternoon on a golf course near Chicago, and the other pair high above them in a helicopter used to report rush-hour traffic conditions on the highways below via a local radio station. The golfers looked up into the overcast sky and reported seeing a saucer-shaped object, topped with a dome, with lighted portholes around the perimeter of the oval shape, cruising across the still-daylight sky. Then they saw a jet aircraft in pursuit of the U.F.O., whereupon the object rose and disappeared into the clouds.

"SOMETHING FUNNY"

At the same moment, it was later learnt, the traffic helicopter pilot broke his regular traffic news broadcast over radio station W.G.N. in Chicago to report: "There's something funny up here", and to say that he was going to go after it. He gave chase, driving his craft "almost into the ground, as he put it, in the attempt. At this point the brief public traffic broadcast ended, and Air Force investigators did not learn until later that the helicopter had actually come close enough to the U.F.O. to identify it, or rather, in this case, to allow it to identify itself. As the helicopter cut across the path of the object its lights flashed on and off to make a readable pattern, a message: "Learn to Fly at Palwaukee." The U.F.O. was in fact an advertising aircraft carrying a flashing electric sign beneath its fuselage. And the jet the golfers had reported, this was merely the helicopter giving chase. People can be poor reporters!

Some years ago the Lubbock lights were a celebrated U.F.O., much publicized in the United States. Several Texas professors were wont to gather in the cool of an evening outside one of their homes, on the patio, and engage in general discussions, often lasting until well after dark. Their eyes thus became well attuned to the dark. On several successive nights they were startled to see a V-shaped pattern of dim lights cross an appreciable portion of the sky, and then suddenly disappear.

The Lubbock lights remained a celebrated mystery, even to the professors, until one of them, about a year later, tried an interesting experiment. He flew a kite at night at the place of the original sighting, attaching bits of white paper to the string as he played it out. As each paper reached a certain height, it suddenly began to glow. The reason was soon evident. Above that height, the papers caught the glow from some mercury-vapour street lights. The professor had been protected from the glow by large trees.

The lights in V-shape formations were identified, with the aid of binoculars, as migrating birds. Like the paper on the kite, the white underparts of the birds caught the mercury vapour glow.

UNSOLVED CASE

But for each truly but temporarily mysterious case there remain one or more equally mysterious unsolved cases. A good example, both of the high calibre represented by some of the witnesses and of the mysteriousness of the occurrence, is what might be called the Case of the Puzzled Anthropologist.

A graduate student in anthropology at the University of Wisconsin, his wife and her mother and young sister were driving along a sparsely travelled country road. Suddenly, almost directly ahead of them, they saw coming towards them the lights of what they first imagined might be an airliner about to crash. They seemed to be more or less on a direct line with the oncoming lights. The young girl, sitting in the back seat of the car, became so frightened that she fell to the floor of the car, covering her face with her hands. But as the lights came closer they slowed down to a hovering position almost alongside the car and seemed to be centred some 100 yards to the left.

The lights appeared to be in formation, as though attached to some mechanical structure, but no tangible craft was visible. The apparition was entirely soundless. There were four red lights placed as though at the vertices of a rectangle, and one white light "in front" of the four red lights. When moving, the lights proceeded in a swinging, gliding motion. The lights appeared to be widely separated, as two were viewed from above the telephone wires alongside the road, and the rest from below. The lower lights seemed to hover just above the ground.

NO EXPLANATION

The object then passed to the rear of the moving car. The driver found a convenient spot to stop the car and turn about, turning off his headlights momentarily. The lights now glided farther away, in the direction from which the car had come. The student and his family started after the receding lights, but even though they exceeded the speed limit they were unable to overtake their U.F.O.

What was it? A helicopter immediately suggests itself, but its apparent size and total lack of sound contradict this explanation. It would also be foolhardy to operate a helicopter on a dark night so close to the ground and to telephone wires without landing lights. Was it a mirage? There were four witnesses, and the experience was a frightening one to all, especially to the young girl. A "mass hallucination" seems unlikely.

The observers were obviously intelligent people who would far prefer to accept a rational, terrestrial explanation for their experience than to be numbered among flying saucer buffs, but the Air Force has not been able to furnish an adequate explanation for this case. Perhaps if it had been possible to make immediate and extensive inquiries in the area, other witnesses might have been found whose additional evidence might have removed this case from the "unidentified" category.

Tha Air Force will continue to investigate all reports it receives - it still gets more than one report a day, and most of them from solid citizens and even technically-trained men. So far I have come across no convincing evidence that any of these mysterious objects come from outer space or from other worlds. I have recommended to the Air Force that a panel, including sociologists and psychologists, should examine the growth of rumour. Possibly the study of some of the people who report the sighting of U.F.O.s would be more rewarding than the investigation of what they saw.


London, England, TIMES, 22 January 1966, page 9

FLYING SAUCERS

Sir, - My friend Dr. Hynek is rightly playing it safe today; but it should be said for the record that he does not receive more than a very small proportion of the world's sightings to assess; and in his article on Unidentified Flying Objects he does not mention radar or photographic evidence.

I have recently had placed in my hands a most remarkable piece of photographic evidence, allied with reliable evidence from witnesses. What this is evidence of, I am not going to hazard a guess. Historians do not like sticking their necks out either.

A colleague of mine, Miss Jacqueline Wingfield, was driving a young Danish friend (Miss Mortensen) along a road near Cappoquin, Ireland, on December 26, 1965. It was a perfect day, with a clear blue sky, and the time was between 3.15 and 3.30. Miss Mortensen suddenly caught sight of a strange object moving steadily across the sky in front of them; Miss Wingfield immediately stopped the car (and the engine) and they both got out with their cameras. Miss Mortensen had time to take one shot.

It was a solid-looking rounded object, flying in complete silence from right to left, with a trailing plume of flame-like brightness at its stern; but there was no smoke trail, or any other trace behind the "plume". When they brought the film back, I was at a loss to know how to get the job reliably done.

But another friend, Mr. Percy Hennell - a photographer of world repute - came into my office shortly after, and generously offered to handle the whole business personally in his own studio.

It will be seen from the photograph reproduced here that the U.F.O. itself is disc-shaped, and that it seems to be emitting a huge semi-elliptical efflux.

Mr. Hennell's report - which I will make available to anyone interested - includes the following: there is a pronounced granular effect seen in the efflux of the U.F.O. which is radically dissimilar to the grain of the photographic emulsion, which must therefore have been inherent in the image which entered the camera, and be part of the U.F.O. ensemble.

Mr. Hennell tells me that he has never seen such a phenomenon before, and that it can have nothing to do with any part of the photographic material, or process. He also says that the similarity to a cloud is fortuitous. No cloud, when blown along, preserves its configuration for more than a second; it is continually changing.

More important, the granulation within the efflux could not be that of a cloud captured on the emulsion; if it had been a cloud, the granulation of the emulsion would have been constant throughout the area, and its surroundings to the edge of the negative.

May I close by saying that, after having been shown many photographs of U.F.O.s I have never until now been able personally to vouch for every stage of the process. There is no possibility of faking, either before or after the take; and Mr. Hennell would invite any authority on photographic chemistry to examine the negative, where he will find no trace of treatment after processing.

Yours faithfully,
CHARLES H. GIBBS-SMITH
The Royal Aero Club, 9 Fitzmaurice
Place, W.I. Jan. 20.


London, England, TIMES, 23 March 1966, page 11

'FLYING FOOTBALL' INVESTIGATION
FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT

NEW YORK, MARCH 22

Michigan police and civil defence officials have opened an investigation into reports of an aircraft, with four sister craft, which about 40 people claim to have seen over a swamp at Ann Arbor on Sunday night. They include 12 policemen, and their descriptions tally.

Mr. Frank Mannor, who claims that he and his son were able to run to within 500 yards of the object, described it as shaped like an American football, about the length of a car, and with a greyish-yellow surface pitted like coral rock. He said there was a blue light on one end and a white light on the other, pulsating and with a little halo round them.

Mr. Mannor, a farmer, said that the object did not appear to touch the ground but settled on what seemed to be "a base of fog". No trace of disturbance was found on the ground yesterday.

Supporting descriptions came from policemen, businessmen, teachers and other solid citizens.


London, England, TIMES, 24 March 1966, page 17

U.S. FLYING OBJECT INVESTIGATED
FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT

NEW YORK, MARCH 23

The United States Air Force has called in its scientific consultant on unidentified flying objects, Dr. Allen Hynek, to investigate the "flying football" reported from Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Sunday night. A civil defence director and an assistant dean and 87 undergraduates of Hillsdale College, near Ann Arbor, have now reported seeing a "glowing object" fly past a dormitory window and hover over a swamp for hours. Fifty other people also reported seeing it.

Mr. William van Horn, director of civil defence for Hillsdale County, said the object was "definitely some kind of vehicle", which appeared through binoculars as either round or oblong. He said that it dimmed its lights when police cars came near, brightened when they went away, and dodged the beacon light of an airport.

Dr, Hynek, who recently recorded his many years' experience of investigating unidentified flying objects in an article in The Times, is director of Dearborn Observatory at North Western University, Evanston, Illinois. He has set up temporary headquarters at an air force base at Mount Clemens, near Ann Arbor.


London, England, TIMES, 11 April 1966, page 5

'FLYING SAUCER' ON FILM

MINISTRY VIEWING EXPECTED
FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT

HELMSHORE, APRIL 10

Ministry of Defence experts are expected to visit Helmshore this week to see a film of an unidentified flying object.

It was taken 16 days ago from an aircraft 9,000 ft. above Staffordshire by Mrs. Joan Oldfield, of Helmshore, who was flying with her husband from Manchester to Southampton.

Mrs. Oldfield saw what she thought was another aircraft and asked her husband for his ciné camera. She said: "It was near the tail and I definitely noticed windows. I did not think I had got any shots but when the film was developed we were amazed to see what looked like a flying saucer."

I was shown the 8 mm. colour film today at the Oldfields' cottage. The grey, cigar-shaped object appears perfectly clearly from the right of the picture. Above and below each end are pairs of fins which slowly come together to give the object the "flying saucer" appearance. Then the object vanishes into the distance at high speed.

It is on 160 frames of the film, which represents seven seconds of viewing time.


London, England, TIMES, 19 April 1966, page 9

FLYING OBJECT CHASED
FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT

NEW YORK, APRIL 18

Two sheriff's deputies chased an unidentified flying object for 85 miles last night from Atwater, Ohio, to Feedom, Pennsylvania. They covered the distance in a car in less than an hour.


London, England, TIMES, 22 April 1966, page 7

EXPERTS STUDY FILM OF FLYING OBJECT

Ministry of Defence photographic experts are studying prints of a film of an unidentified flying object taken last month by a woman from an aircraft 9,000ft. over Staffordshire. The incident was reported in The Times last week.

One possible explanation of the "flying saucer" has been given by a Yorkshire engineer who says similar pictures he took were produced by refraction of light through the double glazing of the aircraft's window.

Mrs. Joan Oldfield, of Helmshore, maintains that she saw something before taking her colour ciné film of an object which looked like a flying saucer while she was flying with her husband from Manchester to Southampton.

Mrs. Oldfield's film was shown last night by B.B.C. television on the programme The World Tomorrow. It was followed by another film shot by a B.B.C. cameraman through the same window on the same aircraft on the same route. The window was convex and distorted at the edge.

The commentary explained: "What we filmed was a direct view of the tailplane of the aircraft seen at an acute angle to the window glass. At the edge of the window the angle of the glass changes, breaking the image and making it seem to float in space. A slight change of the camera angle makes the image disappear or reappear."


London, England, TIMES, 13 August 1966, page 7

FLYING OBJECT OVER SYDNEY SUBURB

Sydney, Aug. 12. - The Royal Australian Air Force said today that it is investigating reports that an unidentified flying object has appeared at night for several months over the Sydney suburb of Turramurra. - Reuter.

 
 
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