The pictures above say a lot about the question asked. Some people have very unrealistic expectations or demands when it comes to UFO film evidence. I guess that I will say something unpopular, maybe even controversial, although it is one of the guidelines of UFO research carved into the Commandments of CUFOS: NO UFO PHOTOGRAPH IS WORTH ANYTHING EXCEPT WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF THE ACCOMPANYING REPORT. It is not only that film never proves anything; film is never the leading element in any UFO report.
Let me create a fictional scenario. Let's pretend that you were on a scientific expedition. Scientists and military people and top quality tech specialists. You are having a nice productive exploration when all of a sudden an apparent UFO begins coming over the sea directly at a nearby island. All manner of your team sees this thing coming and are wowed. The thing cruises in towards the island, takes a little turn around it, and flies away back to sea, having given your team a "friendly" little display of something very mysterious. Well, my goodness. Many highly credible witnesses. They describe a domed disk object clearly unlike our current flying machines. The government tries to close off publicity, but the story leaks out and they have to come clean about the event. High credibility. High strangeness. Great case.
Oh. By the way.... there were several pictures by the expedition's professional cameraman.
Hip readers will know that I am not writing fiction at all, but rather describing the Isle de Trindade case from the International Geophysical Year expedition in Brazil. What I'm trying to impress you with is: the pictures, great as they are, ARE ALMOST IRRELEVANT to the "goodness" of the case. The case rests upon the quality of the observers and their reports. The pictures make it a little easier for us to assent to the mind-expanding experience, but that is OUR hang-up not the real world's. We, as UFO researchers, must rely on the same two standards that Allen Hynek pointed to so clearly 60+ years ago: Credibility and Strangeness IN THE REPORT.
If one takes film evidence as potentially supportive of the basic report, then one's attitude and expectations about film evidence has a markedly different flavor... and despite nay-sayers, produces some rather different and positive opinions about certain film evidence than are usually granted.
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Since this is introductory and not specific case-oriented, I should say something else: readers of this blog realize that I believe the core UFO phenomenon to be the result of the presence of extraterrestrial devices, although many other mundane, semi-mysterious, and even paranormal things stick their noses into our UFO files, causing their confusion. Extraterrestrial Devices [ETDs for short] are at the bottom of many UFO reports, in my opinion, and these devices are employed in a mainly covert way [overt to some single or few persons at a time, but generally "culturally" covert]. In other words, the non-solvability of the UFO mystery is deliberate and well-executed. Looked at that way, one should say that one is surprised that there is UFO film evidence at all, let alone land-and-dance-in-your-face evidence [no matter how many cameras are around]. The filmable evidence would in "my" scenario be "teasers" not validators. Even with that, I believe that when many instances of the film evidence are looked at in proper context, you find that it has told you important things.... just not enough to immediately convince either high-academic deniers nor a comic-book-reading general public.
But let's go on a little further into the history today.
This is the ubiquitous illustration for the Foo Fighter phenomenon of WW2. It appears to be some kind of old photograph, but frankly I have no idea of what. For me at least [some of you may know this photo's story], this piece of film merely serves as visual entertainment to the text it accompanies. As far as I could see, it could conceivably be some legitimate representation of foo fighters, but it looks more like fighter planes with either flak bursts or film defects. The film is useless without the accompanying foo fighter report.
As an illustration it serves some mild purpose in crudely representing a real phenomenon. The foo fighter reality hit allied pilots in c.1944 in the German border area and there is utterly no question about the seriousness with which the US high command took the things. Hap Arnold, our air leader, and Carl Spaatz, our next air leader, received foo fighter reports in England and Washington and knew they had to respond to what might be a dangerous weapon. Arnold's scientific advisor, Edward Bowles of MIT [pictured above], was an expert in radar, radiation, guidance technology, and most-things-physics. He suggested that they needed a scientist on the spot to get better information to solve the riddle of these mischievously taunting balls-of [usually red-orange]-light. He knew just the high-risk-taker recent graduate for the job.
It seems EXTREMELY likely that someone in these crews photographed the phenomenon. I'd bet money that such photography happened MANY times --- this was not "fooling around"; this was military security. Yet to my knowledge no such photos have been released. This does not surprise me in the least. The mass of the files aren't yet "out" either, though a few are --- but none of Griggs' reports. Top Secret folks. Potential dangerous enemy technology. YOU [and I] have no need to know --- even today apparently
But notice: The foo fighters were real ... whether there were any pictures or not.
What about the Ghost Rockets of Scandinavia just after the War?? Same thing.
The picture above is the iconic illustration for the 1946 Ghost Rocket phenomenon, and the photographer is known and the picture seems just fine. In other words the credibility issue is no issue. Placed as it is in the midst of the Ghost Rocket flap, the whole context of the picture is solid.
But "strange" it "don't seem to be". It's possible that this could be a picture of some sort of rocketing technology, but it is far more likely that it is just a competent picture of a fireball. The Ghost Rocket flap is spread out pretty well across the year 1946 and contains many interesting reports, but the greater number of reports came in on two specific evenings. These evenings had flurries of reports of single fireball-like objects streaking linearly across the skies. And that's what those two clusters probably were: two instances of atmosphere-grazing fireballs. I don't have the dates all together here in WV, but the picture above could have been one of them.
But let's pretend for a moment that this picture IS of technology. It would not add much to our story, would it? The Ghost Rocket Mystery resides in the high-strangeness cases, not in the distant flyovers. To have a piece of film which in itself is strongly evidentiary, the photo[s] would have to be of a very close encounter. THAT doesn't happen. And it doesn't happen, in my opinion, because the "guys" controlling this phenomenon's interaction with us don't want it to. Manipulation... control... agenda.
But Ghost Rockets are a true mystery nevertheless. The Swedish [and American] military certainly thought so.
The Swedish military in 1946 naturally suspected these things to be Soviet/Nazi technology: "new" rocketry swiped from the Peenemunde German engineers [We got Von Braun and some of the eggheads, but Russia got most of the second-tier engineers]. Sweden had recovered an off-course Nazi V2 during the War and so why not the same old problem again? Some reports were distinctly non-rocket-like but many were [there were actually disks reported in the pile.]. The greatest intrigue were the "lake plungers". Objects were reported plunging/crashing into Swedish lakes multiple times... multiple like maybe five or more [I don't have the count in my head but it wasn't just two or even three. Well, perfect! A Soviet rocket goof lying at the bottom of a Swedish lake, ripe for the plucking. Except no trace of any of them has ever been found [unless you count some suspicious "slag" in a couple of cases]. Sweden tried, as evidenced by the picture above. Nothing. IF something plunged into a relatively-easy-to-search lake, but nothing was findable, then that's no fireball, even a very little one.
And it's no Soviet rocket either. But what? Sweden's equivalent of the Shag Harbor case?
I'd like to have photos of Ghost Rockets or Foo Fighters, but I don't. But they stand without them as full-blown mysteries. It was in 1948, I think [1948 or 1949 for sure] that a US Navy attache reported to the Pentagon that the "rockets" still occasionally flew, and that some of the analysts there were considering the extraterrestrial possibility.
Yep. I'd REALLY like a photo of an ETD being hauled out of Lake Kolmjarv. We'd be getting pretty close to evidential there --- particularly if it was Sweden's dedicated scientific and engineering team under Henry Kjellson doing the hauling.
'nuff for now. I'll get through this series at whatever pace life allows. Patience is a virtue, they say. Next time I'll try to take on some specific early post-WW2 [mainly 1947] pictures. Till then, Peace.