Friday, July 13, 2012
Can We Learn Anything From UFO Photos?, part four.
I've got a Gordian Knot of sorts on my hands for some photos in the 1949-1950 era, and not enough time to study and unravel it. So... to get off ground zero here, I'm going to post a particularly sloppy entry just to get on with things. Yep, not great scholarship, I know. But lately I've just been happy to make it back to bed in the evening, so this is "all I got" right now.
OK, what is this mess all about? Well, I don't know. All three of these things are somehow associated with photos supposedly taken at or nearby Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the late 1940s (47-49). The two on top are supposedly from 1947 and the bottom one from 1949. The topmost photo looks suspiciously to me like an error in the developing process where a heavy drop of developing fluid made a bright ball of light which "streaked across the sky" as it ran on the film. But what do I know? The middle one could be anything. It also looks like a type of developing liquid error, but the whole thing is so dark, maybe not. Either way, one can't tell much particularly with essentially no report.
The bottom thing is even more mysterious. I've seen this shape in only one other place on the internet, there in black and white and unlabeled. It was placed with photos of the late 1940s. So where'd "my" rendition come from?? Allen Hynek apparently. This thing was on a slide in the Allen Hynek collection as passed on to me by John Timmerman. All that the slide says [but thank God for this as most of these slides were unlabeled] is: "Oak Ridge, TN in 1940s over the government atomic facility by staffers".
I would be a big fan of this photo if I had an accompanying case file. If this was legit, and of the 1949-50 era, it would be perfect for the rash of sightings that swarmed around Oak Ridge, causing the Atomic Energy Commission no end of anxiety. A lot of on-the-ground and even in-the-air action was taken by the Oak Ridge commandant in response to these things. But the slide is all I have.
In the Blue Book microfilm there is a report of photos taken in 1947 which didn't get official attention until all the heavier flapping went on in 1949. This report speaks of a highly regarded engineer, assigned to Oak Ridge from Wright-Patterson AMC, who took pictures of 1). a vapor trail; and 2). a ball-of-fire. Neither of those descriptions seems to fit the picture above. Of interest is that the photographer was told to round up all the prints that he had made and distributed to friends and hand everything over to the USAF.
Apologies for the darkness but that's how the photo is. In fact you may be looking at the best version of it around, as this is another case of Dr. Hynek "borrowing" an original. This photo was taken by a Master Sergeant stationed at Roswell in 1949, who filmed this "perfectly round" transparent globe sitting in the sky. Sergeant Callen was considered an excellent non-com and highly trustworthy. The USAF did NOT see this photo as involving any balloon, and considered the case unidentified.
This was the period also just before the Green Fireballs flap, which addled everyone at nearby Los Alamos and Sandia bases. As we moved into late December and early January [of 1950] the local military chiefs [led by Colonel Doyle Rees and Dr. Lincoln LaPaz] were actively seeking photographic evidence for that mystery. They got it several times, AND IN EVERY CASE THE PHOTO EVIDENCE IS "UNAVAILABLE" OR LOST. There are several cases even of triangulations, wherein the object was photo'd, and the altitude, distances, and speeds were calculable. These things happened several times at White Sands Proving Grounds as well as from desert patrols. It's a colossal joke that anyone doubts that real distance and speed data was never obtained. But I have none of those particular photos to show --- nor do any of the rest of we mere peons.
Bruce Maccabee has written an excellent retelling of these 1950 era sightings, photos, and triangulations in the New Mexico area in a paper entitled NCP-13: White Sands Films, Mirarchi, and Project Twinkle. The NCP refers to the "Nuclear Connection Project" on Fran Ridge's NICAP site.
These are a set of pictures from the USAF microfilms as well. The set was taken by a corporal from Holloman AFB at Datil NM on February 24/25 1950. These pictures were passed onto Dr Lincoln LaPaz for his analysis. LaPaz could see that they were not part of the Green Fireballs mystery [visually anyway], but, although they seemed to be possibly astronomical objects, his close analysis of the films indicated a]. too small for the Moon and too large for Venus, therefore not astronomical. Background information indicated that the object was basically in focus, and therefore not a fuzzy star. The object was essentially a round white light, very bright, which engaged in some motion, but undescribed [at least as I know]. The pictures are considered "unexplained". What do they tell us? At least that observers were seeing real objects/lights in a concentrated area of New Mexico in that period. And, therefore that "something" was going on.
Great for TV drama, I suppose. Meaningless to us. Imaginations Away!!!
That's it for this one folks --- have to go visit Mom. Watch the skies. Someone may be watching you....
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- Can We Learn Anything From UFO Photos, part seven?
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- Can We Learn Anything From UFO Photos?, part four.
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