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ocd ennui UFO SIGHTED IN OHIO... Flying Saucers— Fact or Fiction? Herewith The Globe-Democrat's “Horizons” page presents two opposing views, by qualified persons, plus a report by the Scot Air Force Base man charged with receiving and investigating all Unidentified Flying Objects reports in this area. Dr. Donald H, Menzel is professor of astronomy and former divector af the Harvard College Observatory, who has harticipated in the Air Force UFO investigation, Project Blue Book, and who co-authored “The World of Flying Saucers.” John A. Keel is the author of anpther UFO study, “Operation Trojan Horse, published next year by Putnam's, ip the lat ir he has visited 20 centérs of activity and interviewed thousands of Americas who have seen the strange objects. Science « Health = Technology = =x ° By JOHN A. KEEL The American public is not telling the Air Force the truth shout flying saucers, At least not the whole treth This is one of through 20. siates and interviewing thousen claim to have had first-hand experience with Unidentified Flying Objects. Only 2 few of these people bothered to report their sightings to the Air Force. Many have kept their mouths Shut altogether, discussing the subject only with friends and neighbors who have also seen something strange in the sky. On the evening of Wednesday, April 12, 1967, scores of people in Point Pleasant, W. Va., gathered in’ the fields around the home of the Tames Lilly family. Included were the Mason County sheriff, several policemen and local reporters. ‘At 8:45pm. Lilly glanced at his waich and announced, “les about that time,” The crowd tensed Moments later @ large luminous sphere with a. brilliant red light on top and dazaling diamond-shaped windows, nc- cording to the testimony of the many witnesses, came flutter ing in from the north, It passed slowly, silently, overhead at « tow altitude. ‘That same night « large group of people in faratt Uma ine, Ore, reportedly sighted a similar lisht, hovering and maneuvering above their heads. Similar sightings that night ‘took place in Prospect, Cont., and near Kenosha, Wis. April 12 was not an exceptional night for UKO-watching. March and April sightings hit an all-time high, UFO's seemed to be operating on regular schedules over farms, stale and national parks and major highways. UFOwaiching has be come an eerie new American sport Ridicule Diminishing While skepticism remains high in major cities where few UFO's are ever reported, the atmosphere of contempt and ridicule which formerly surrounded UFO reports in the hin terlands is now rapidly diminishing. In states like West Virginia, California, Kansas, Nebras- kka and New Jersey, the number of UFO's reported actually ‘exceeds by far the lights of man-made airerait. In West Virginia, in April‘ alone, I personally cow fhree normal aircraft’ and 22 unidentified objects in a single evening, Policemen and reporters with me compared notes on what we had seen and were able to rule out natural phenome- na such as falling stars, satsllies and weather batloons. April £ a man near Lebanon, Pa, reported that & dark- shaped object passed about 40 fect over his ear, causing it 10 stall, The man — who like many UFO witnesses asked be named — sald the object seemed to be hamming and he smélied sulphur as it swooped past him in a shower of sparks. ‘On the night of April 6, when accompenied by reporter for the Athens, Ohio, Messenger, in an isolated spot on the ‘Ohio River, we saw a pale red sphere moving at tree-top lev. 1 about 300 feet from our car. I flashed my lights at it thro times and, to our surprise, the object returned the signel be fore shooting off into the night sky. Complete Denial When a large orange sphere, apparently under intelligent ceontrol, hovered over north Philadelphia, the night of March 1, hundred, of witnesses said they saw. four ordinary planes circling it. Yet Air Force officials maintain their stance of ‘complete denial of these incidents ‘And many Americans, now so exasperated with the men who guard their skies, no longer report their sightings to the Air Force, Col. George P. Freeman, Pentagon spokesman for Proj- fect Blue Book, recently complained to me: “We're getting ess and less cooperation from the public.” In February, Project Blue Book issued its annual report n UFOs Not Told ‘on the UFO situation, asserting that only 30 out of a total of 1060 sightings reported to the Air Force in 1966 had unexplained. All of the others, according to Blue Bock’ cificers, two secretaries and an enlisted man, were salelliles, astronomical phenomena and pings, reports and personal lavest lion of U. S. sightings in 1966 show that snore then 40, pilots, police officers, doctors, lawyers, school teachers and professional people, and just’ plain folks, claimed they saw UFO's, and I'm sure they represent oniy a fraction of the tal, All Over World forts come pouting in from all over the world France, even the Soviet Union are parent Simitar_r Australia, Japai ly viewing these objects with. the same kind of unviercove ‘aneern. A section in northem Argentina is populariy called “UFO Alley” because of the consiant sightings and landing reports Inns heen paid them in that pected Sweden established the first official UFO. investigating agency in. 1010, Avstralin had the first of a fong series of UFO's in 1909, England has had a Yong ne of such Ineidente singe the 1820s Historical records in India go back $000 years and schol- ars have unearthed descriptions of aerial objects almost iden- tical to those being reported today. When you add it ali up, yoo have a situation of almost unbelievable scope and complexity. Not only do flying saucers seem to be referred to histocicelly, in sources ranging. from the Bible to ancient legends of the American Indians, but they scem to be present over every part of the world — even both the Poles. Though the American taxpayer ts involuntarily paying for projects ranging {rom studies of cactus needles to attempts to communicate with porpoises, the government has not a single UFO expert. But help may be on the way at lest, A handfl of scien tists at the University of Colorado, under the direction of Dr. Edward U. Condon, former Washington University physicist, have now been given an Air Force grant of $300,000 to per- form a besie, 1Samxomth of UFO’ ‘They are carefully reviewing all of the major sightings of the last 29 years and staff members jnvestigate nes incidents more atten Invisible College Also, Dr. J. Allen Hynek, the astronomer who has served as one ‘of the Air Force's UFO consultants for nearly 29 years, is now busily setting up an “invisible college” of scien- lists and ufologists from all over the world to put the phe- nomenon under their microscopes. Even the United Nations is now quietly concerned about the subject and is collecting data in an undercover investiga- tion of its own. Secretary General U Thant has taken a per- sonal interest in the mystery and the UN's Outer Space Com- mittee is busily compiling reports behind a screen of silence ‘Meanwhile thousands of UFO bufis all over the world con- tinue to collect clips, reports, taped interviews with UFO wit- nesses and fragments of strange aerial debris. With each report of a new sighting, disbelievers scoff and the buffs grow in mumber. But neither provide an answer to the question: Do UFO's exist? If UFO's eventually are proven fo be figments of very in- ventive imaginations, there's the answer. But if at some time concrete evidence proves they do ex- ist, where do we go from there? copyright, 1987, by orth Ameviean Newspaper By DR. DONALD H. MENZEL Twenty years ago — on June 24, 1947 —~ a veteran pilot Cascade Mc series of bright fi formation of aircrait speed toward Mt ke a strange incradibl Rainier, Arnald counted nine disk-shaped objects, 45 to 50 fect Jong and speeding around 1700 miles per hour. He figured they were 20 or 25 miles away. ‘They flew, he later said, “like a saucer would if you skipped it across the water."* And that was the start of the flying saucer craze, Or was it? Actually, not, Similar sightings go much further back in history. Old ecards refer to them as anything from fiery dragsons to ‘the devil himself. The only new aspect is the explanation that they must be vehicles from outer space. is reasoning sounds much like that of Sherlock Holmes: “When you have exeluded the impossible, whatev- er remains, however improbabie, must be the trothi’” ‘UFO buffs believe that special observers, such as mili tary or aitline pilots, could not possioly mistake a meieor, planet, star, “'sundog” or mirage for a UFO, ‘This viewpoint is absolule nonsense. Air Force files contain thousands: of sightings by “reliable individuals” which turned out to be easily solved cases. Hard to Estimate ‘Why? Because distances are uncoramonly haxd to esti mate, either on the ground or in the air, A bird's feather, shining brighély in the sun, and floating a mere 20 feet ov- erhead, may seem to be a distant object moving at high speed, Conversely, a pilot may think that a bright star or planet on the horizon lies just beyond his wing tip. Semetimes a iayer of warm air, sandwiched between two layers of cold air, can act as a lens, projecting a pulsing, spinning, vividly colored, saucerlike image of a planet, The distance may scem to change rapidly as the siar fades or increases in brightness. It is both reali and frightening. Pilots have tried to intercept seh an im- age, and actual “dog fights” have been reeorded between ‘itary pifots and a planet, llection of the sun of moon, some ndog or a mocndog, also can perform ve aclion." Layers of ive crystals like those found in cirrus clouds can cause @ peculiir metallic-appearing re- siection of the sun or moon, The apparition will recede if approached, or approach if the pilot reverses his course. Ninety per cent of the solved observations in the Air Force files resulted from material objects. Relieetiuns from airplanes, banking in the sun, appear momentarily and vanish. The plane is invisibie in’ the dis- tani haze. Observers will say it couldn't have been a plane because no noise was heard or because it moved too swilt- ly. The brifliant landing lights of a plane can almost daze a person on the ground, Sometimes such lights may appear ST. Lous hoGe DEMOCRAT HORIZONS Science + TUESDAY, JUNE 20. Hlusion 2 fow hundred feet away when the plane 1s ace tually several miles distant. Rallaons, efither children's to 1 unlighted — andl especialiy those enovinous plas te balloons, large as a l0-story building, which carry scientific instruments to altitudes of 100,600 feet — have anistaken for UFO's, Roflecting full sunlight while the th below lies in twilight, they shine more brilfianély than Venus. or weather balloons, From Birds by day or night, often refiect light from their Wind-blawn kites, hats, paper, plastic. sacks, spider-webs, seed pods, dust devils, and insects, arms, have contributed their share of sight- ings. Sancer-shaped clouds, reflections of searchlights on clouds, bail lightning, the Aurora Borealis (Northern lights) ket-launched sodium vapor clouds — accasional- feathers, ly cantr Reflections from power lines, insutators, television an- tennas, radars, radio taioscnpes or even apartment windows have produced reatistic UFO's, The chemistry and physiology of the human eye are sian responsible Jor many sightings. & sudden burst of ates after the Hash vou will be able to see a bright, usual- Iy greenish. floating spot. Look fixedly at the foll moon a 2 then tum away. A groonish hoad and perform maneu- ‘An observant person can sometimes detect swirling louds or spots of light in total darkness oc while looking at 8 homogenous field such as the bright blue sky. Lie down fn your back in a dark room, or on a moonless night when the sky is heavily overcast. You will almost surely see bright, irregular patches of ight form. As you move your eyes the patches will cavort over the sky. To speed up the action, rub your eyes. Another optical phenomenon that ean produce an ill sion of abjects fies within the some uniformly bright surface, sky or ceiling, and relax yout eyes. Focus therm on infinity. Chances are you will see be dist floating on i jeas oi the eye, ions of the cornea, or pox sibly bie con sinmiate evasive, erratic g sore selinble than visual on Smail changes nosphere ean maice UFO's on radar seem to maneuver at fantastic speeds, exeenting rightangle turns or suddenly vanishing completely from a radar scope. The grectest radar sancer flap of all times accurred in the ot. dry month of Tuvly, 1952, when a whole fleot of UFO's was deteciéd by radar at Washington’s National Airport, Subsequent research by the Weaiher Bureau confirmed what UPO puffs refer to as my “hot air theory.”” T know of no reliable cases of sirmltaneous visual and radar sightings, —Worla Book Sclonce Servlet, Inc. Health » Technology 1967