MCDONALD CONCLUSION re: KIRTLAND & THE
HYNEK COMMENTS re: MENZEL
AUTHOR'S SUMMATION (i.e. How this all relates to Gordon Cooper's claims)
<begin McDonald text>
I asked both men whether they alerted anyone else while the foregoing events were taking place. They both indicated that the object was of such unprecedented nature that it wasn't until it shot up into the overcast that they got on the phone to get the CAA Radar Approach Control (RAPCON) unit to look for a fast target to the east. Kaser recalled that a CPN-18 surveillance radar was in use at that RAPCON unit at that time, a point confirmed to me in subsequent correspondence with the present chief of the Albuquerque Airport Traffic Control Tower, Mr. Robert L. Behrens, who also provided other helpful information. Unfortunately, no one who was in the Albuquerque/Kirtland RAPCON unit in 1957 is now available, and the person whom Kaser thought was actually on the CPN-18 that night is now deceased. Thus I have only Kaser and Brink recollections of the radar-plotting of the unknown, plus the less than precise information in the Nov. 6, 1957 TWX to Bluebook. Capt. Shere did not, evidently, take the trouble to secure any information from radar personnel. As seen on the RAPCON CPN-18, the unknown target was still moving in an easterly direction when the alert call came from the tower. It then turned southward, and as Kaser recalled, moved south at very high speed, though nothing is said about speed in the Kirtland TWX of Nov. 6, 1957. It proceeded a number of miles south towards the vicinity of the Albuquerque Low Frequency Range Station, orbited there for a number of minutes, came back north to near Kirtland, took up a trail position about a half-mile behind an Air Force C-46 just then leaving Kirtland, and moved offscope with the C-46. The Nov. 8, 1957 report from Commander, 34th Air Div. to ADC and to the Air Technical Intelligence Command closed with the rather reasonable comment: "Sighting and descriptions conform to no known criteria for identification of UFOs." The follow-up report of Nov. 13, 1957, prepared by Air Intelligence personnel from Ent AFB, contains a number of relevant comments on the experience of the two witnesses (23 years of tower control work between them as of that date), and on their intelligence, closing with the remarks: "In the opinion of the interviewer, both sources (witnesses) are considered completely competent and reliable." 5. Critique of the Evaluation in the Condon Report: (McDonald's words, continued) The Kirtland AFB case is a rather good (though not isolated) instance of the general point I feel obliged to make on the basis of my continuing check of the Condon Report: In it we have not been given anything superior to the generally casual and often incompetent level of case-analysis that marked Bluebook's handling of the UFO problem in past years. In the Bluebook files, this case is carried as "Possible Aircraft". Study of the 21-page case-file reveals that this is based solely on passing comment made by Capt. Shere in closing his summary letter of November 8: "The opinion of the preparing officer is that this object may possibly have been an unidentified aircraft, possibly confused by the runways at Kirtland AFB. The reasons for this opinion are: (a) The observers are considered competent and reliable sources, and in the opinion of this interviewer actually saw an object they could not identify. (b) The object was tracked on a radar scope by a competent operator. (c) The object does not meet identification criteria for any other phenomena." The stunning non sequitur of that final conclusion might serve as an epitome of 22 years of Air Force response to unexplainable objects in our airspace. But when one then turns to the Condon Report's analysis and evaluation, a Report that was identified to the public and the scientific community as the definitive study of UFOs, no visible improvement is found. Ignoring almost everything of interest in the case-file except that a lighted airborne object came down near Kirtland airfield and left, the Condon Report covers this whole intriguing case in two short paragraphs, cites the Air Force view, embellishes it a bit by speaking of the lost aircraft as "powerful" (presumably to account for its observed Mach 1 climb-out) and suggesting that it was "flying without flight plan" (this explains why it was wandering across runways and taxiways at night, in a rain, at an altitude of a few tens of feet), and the Report then closes off the case with a terse conclusion: "There seems to be no reason to doubt the accuracy of this analysis. Two telephone calls to the two principal witnesses would have confronted the Colorado investigators with emphatic testimony, supporting the contents (though not the conclusions) of the Bluebook file, and that would have rendered the suggested "powerful private aircraft" explanation untenable. By not contacting the witnesses and by overlooking most of the salient features of the reported observations, this UFO report has been left safely in the "explained" category where Bluebook put it. One has here a sample of the low scientific level of investigative and evaluative work that will be so apparent to any who take the trouble to study carefully and thoroughly the Condon Report on UFOs. AAAS members are urged to study it carefully for themselves and to decide whether it would be scientifically advisable to accept it as the final word on the 22-year-long puzzle of the UFO problem. I submit that it is most inadvisable. <end McDonald text> J.C. Once again, since this case was originally located in Blue Book files, included in the Condon Study, and was so thoroughly researched by a highly respected meteorologist, with yet additional information brought in by CAA witnesses who were still alive, its authenticity is beyond reproach. The amount of effort that McDonald put into his analysis should be obvious to anyone reading this. The additional material he personally brought to this case (and others) demonstrates that what was seen was indeed a "UFO." The witnesses' words "..had no wings, tail, or fuselage, was elongated
in the vertical direction, and exhibited a somewhat
egg-shaped form (Kaser). It appeared to be perhaps
15-20 ft in vertical dimension, about the size of
an automobile on end, and had a single white light
in its base." and McDonald's words "Both men were emphatic in stressing to me that _it
in no way resembled an aircraft._" clearly demonstrate that whatever this was, it was definitely
nothing the witnesses had ever seen before or since. Additionally, as mentioned, the date and place of this case are important as it occurred approximately 2 days * prior * to the Sebago/Stokes cases and, for reasons already stated, I am personally certain that "Sebago" was indeed a reality. (jc 2/19/2010: N.B. The incorrect dating found in this last sentence was my original estimate before talking to researchers Jan Aldrich and Brad Sparks who eventually helped me secure the correct dates and times. The actual timing was only hours apart.) ocr.7c Continued: Furthermore, "Stokes" was claimed in the same general location
as the Kirtland case, within a close proximity of time. Since
it (Kirtland) happened "prior" to those cases, Kirtland obviously
wasn't stimulated by them. I therefore submit that the probability
of "Sebago" & "Stokes" being exactly what they were originally represented as being, is extremely high. This is why I selected these particular events when compiling my brief history of UFOs. It is also important to consider all this in the context of Dr. Hynek's letter to Colonel Sleeper in 1968, which demonstrated, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the statistics touted in "Project Blue Book" were little more than a "sham." If you remember, Hynek called them a "travesty." As we said, no civilian scientist was closer to this data than Hynek. (consultant to Air Force UFO project for 20 years) 7 As far as Dr. McDonald himself is concerned, the only thing I can see that he was guilty of was of possibly being a poor politician.
In approaching the National Academy of Sciences by attacking them, instead of taking the slower route of trying to befriend some of them, he put himself in a position that was doomed to failure.
(Jan Aldrich says I am incorrect on this, McDonald was extremely
polite and followed protocol as far as he was able, but his
in-depth research had him convinced they just had to look at this
whole UFO thing a little more closely.)
Skeptics have said, a person who is insincere in his views on UFOs and that wants to "reap the whirlwind," so to speak, in the UFO field generally figures out a way to get to the media so they will pick up his bogus information and sell it for him. Dr. McDonald did not fit this profile. The people he was trying to convince were other scientists. It is obvious to this researcher that he was sincere in his beliefs. Both Walter Webb (Astronomer) and Jan Aldrich
(Project 1947), whom I previously mentioned, basically echoed the following concerning a visit McDonald made to Hynek:
"Fresh from a visit to Blue Book, an angry McDonald descended upon Hynek and pounded on his desk. Allen told me McDonald had accused him of sitting on the data all these years without letting the scientific community know about the impressive cases buried in Air Force files. Though Allen tried to explain the difficult position he was in, McDonald would have none of it. At the same time Hynek said he felt a great sense of relief because finally here was another scientist who actually took the UFO problem seriously." 8
As we had seen Hynek had done, McDonald, too, was putting his career on the line. If you are wondering what McDonald's credentials were at the time, I offer both the following quote from Val Germann regarding McDonald's criticism of the scientific community in regards to the UFO topic, and his listing of McDonald's credentials. 9
"....McDonald was a scourge of the complacent ufologists of his day. He blasted the Air Force, Hynek, Menzel, Condon and anyone else doing a second-rate job in the UFO arena. He was a first-rate intellect and a world- famous atmospheric scientist, this last very important since UFOs are mainly reported in the atmosphere, not in outer space. This put the astronomers (Hynek & Menzel) on the spot when they tried to challenge McDonald. You see, he was *in* his field, *they* were *not*. This would often cause Menzel acute embarrassment."
Born: Duluth, Minnesota, May 7, 1920. B.A., Chemistry, University of Omaha, 1942. M.A., Meteorology, M.I.T., 1945. Ph.D., Physics, Iowa State University, 1951. U.S. Navy, Intelligence & aerology, 1942-45. Instructor, Physics, Iowa State University, 1946-49. Assistant Professor, Physics, Iowa State University, 1950-53. Research Physicist, Cloud Physics, Univ. of Chicago, 1953-54. Associate Prof., Physics, Univ. of Arizona, 1954-56. Full Professor,, Physics, Univ. of Arizona, 1956-57. Senior Physicist, Inst. of Atmospheric Studies, 1958 - present. Member, Weather Modification Panel, NAS, 1965 - present. Member, Navy Stormfury Advisory Panel, 1966 - present. Member, NSF Weather Modification Panel, 1967 - present. Member, AAAS, American Meteorological Society, Sigma Xi, American Geophysical Society, American Society of University Professors. Married, Six Children. Is Germann's comment accurate regarding Menzel & Hynek? Here is a quote from Hynek, from his own book "The UFO Experience:" 10 " ... Harvard astronomy professor Dr. Menzel, who
took a seemingly compulsive interest in the flying
saucer question, even though this subject was far
removed from his scientific field. He loudly
proclaimed UFOs were nonsense and particularly
championed the "mirage theory" of flying saucers.
He ascribed properties to mirages, and mirage
properties to UFOs, which have since been shown to
be completely untenable, even by the air force
itself." 11 J.C. This is not to infer anything disparaging concerning Dr. Menzel's other scientific endeavors which I am sure, as per his reputation, were highly respected. However, when it came to pronouncements concerning UFOs, his comments left much to be desired.
Other scientists have leaned on Menzel's reputation, taking his stance in regard to UFOs without closely examining all available case facts in some of them. With cases on record, such as those mentioned herein, it is not unreasonable for people to have begun wondering what was in the particular craft seen. Cases revealed by FOIA requests and lawsuits have proven that various branches of our government have communicated both internally and amongst each other regarding cases such as the previously mentioned 1975 SAC base visitations. Some of those communications described those 1975 visitations in which craft of some type apparently hovered over atomic missile silos and storage areas of several SAC bases, and could not be apprehended. 12 This obviously indicates intelligent guidance of some sort and our inability to deal with it. (You really can't blame our Air Force for not telling us. Anyone remember the Orsen Wells "War of the Worlds" broadcast? If that was any general indication of how people might react to an announcement of this sort, it most probably is not too advisable to scream this too loudly or incessantly to everyone.) Also briefly discussed in a prior post, the Belgium Air Force 1989/90 NATO cases documented a craft which played a cat & mouse game with F-16s for *seventy five* minutes and *forty G* accelerations which would have killed a human pilot, recorded on gun cameras and observed by "a great number of witnesses, among them *twenty* national policemen who saw both the object and the F-16s." Prior to scrambling the F-16s, "headquarters had determined to do some very precise studies during the next *fifty five* minutes to eliminate the possibility of prosaic explanations for the radar images. Excellent atmospheric conditions prevailed, and there was no possibility of false echoes due to temperature inversions." 13 The cases detailed herein certainly lend credence to the Belgium incident(s). Since Air Force claims that most UFOs have been explained were "blown away" by Hynek's 1972 book, cases such as these are remarkable, undeniable data to be added to the entire picture before us.
jc 10/18/2008: We can now add to that the testimony, November 2007 at the Washington
Press Club, Washington D.C., USA, of now Major General, retired Wilfried De Brouwer,
Deputy Chief of Staff at the time of those sightings, concerning that incident. (pdf viewer
necessary) Furthermore, (and I am not happy saying this) with military cases such as these on record, it certainly would behoove the human race to take a really close look at "animal mutilation cases" and claimed "abduction" cases. Although a great percentage of the abduction claims most certainly could be hoaxes or psychological aberrations, and a percentage of the "mutilation" cases may be attributed to natural predators, etc., the data displayed herein demonstrates it most certainly is not impossible there may be a core of them that exists that could be the "real" thing. We certainly have a core of "real UFO" cases. To not examine these other type cases carefully would be to ignore what may very well be related, documented evidence that has been accumulating over the years and might well be the most foolish thing mankind has ever done. To have main-stream scientists scoffing at these without examining them _thoroughly_, is obviously ill-advised. "Some" of the people reporting these things may not be as crazy as certain scientists and newscasters, who are unaware of the quality and quantity of this documentation, would have us believe.
Are you honestly all as positive as you were before reading them, that Gordon Cooper was not telling the truth about what he saw? Remember, the date of Cooper's claimed landing at Edwards AFB was May 3rd, 1957 (as per Mr. Oberg), six months prior to the Kirtland case which occurred November 4th of the same year. In correspondence with Jan Aldrich from Project 1947, dedicated to researching available information from cases 1947 on, I discovered that my estimate was wrong and that my three prime cases were mere hours apart rather than the days or so apart I originally thought. Is it just possible that the following quote attributed to Dr. Hynek by Mr. Oberg, may have been a totally valid criticism of the BBC's "The Case of the UFOs"?
Oberg ¶ 21 In late 1982, Dr. J. Allen Hynek blasted the British Broadcasting Corporation for its production of "The Case of the UFOs" (aired in the US on NOVA in October 1982) for avoiding any mention of Gordon Cooper's UFO experiences, which Hynek clearly portrayed as genuine and unsolvable.
And, considering the information Hynek had appraised us regarding Project Blue Book, some of the excellent overlooked cases therein and the statistical "travesty" perpetrated by that project, is it really so difficult for us to understand why Dr. James McDonald did not accept the Air Force's "weather balloon" explanation (Oberg ¶ 50) for the 1957 Edwards AFB case? Below is a portion of the argument given to convince us of the case against Cooper's Edwards AFB UFO claim and McDonald.
Oberg ¶ 51 But oddly enough, even though the original sighting was published in numerous newspapers (and made national wire services), the explanation was written up in no newspaper that I have been able to find. Nor did the pro- UFO McDonald (who hardly could have failed to be aware of it, since he had been sent the same material by Gettys) mention it before the congressional committee. Of course, the explanation "weather balloon" elicits snickers of disbelief from anybody familiar with how the term was over-used for other cases. . . . .
Respectfully, Mr. Oberg, it certainly does. jc 7/21/2009 Addendum: The Air Force was also using "the planet Venus"
as an explanation for impossible-to-solve cases. Click HERE for a prime example
of this in another McDonald-investigated case which occurred April 1966.
1 email@example.com (Germannvh) . alt.paranet.ufo . "Yet More McDonald -- 1/6" . 21 Dec 1995 2 posted on Usenet newsgroup "alt.paranet.ufo" : also to be posted on WWW TUFOP (The Ultimate UFO Page) at http://www.serve.com/tufop/tu00002.html 3 Newsday, (L.I. Newspaper) . Wednesday 11/6/57 . "CG Ship Sights Weird Object Off Louisiana" : Newsday, (L.I. Newspaper) . Wednesday 11/6/57 . "Flying Something Still Unidentified" 4 From an address given by McDonald, James E., Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, to the American Association For The Advancement Of Science (AAAS) at Sheraton Plaza Ballroom, Arizona 12/27/69 . 134th Meeting, Symposium, Unidentified Flying Objects . Subject: Science in Default; 22 years 5 Ibid #4 : also, case # 19-X, 361-B located in Condon, Edward U. "Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects", 1/8/69 . New York Times Book 6 Ibid #2 . Germann, Val . McDonald, Dr. James E. . address to the AAAS UFO Symposium, Boston, Dec. 27, 1969. 7 Hynek, J. Allen "The UFO Experience" Henry Regnery Company 1972, appendix 4 (Excerpt of a Letter from J. Allen Hynek to Colonel Raymond S. Sleeper) : Cohen, R.J., WITH RESPECT TO DR. HYNEK.3 - "The UFO Experience" & "Blue Book" . NET POST TUFOP : http://www.serve.com/tufop/tu00005.html 8 Webb, Walter N . (Charles Hayden Planetarium, Boston) . Center for UFO Studies "International Reporter" 1/93 . "Allen Hynek as I Knew Him". p9 "The Later Years" . col. 1. last paragraph & col 2 : Jan Aldrich, Project 1947 . Letter exchange with
Jerry Cohen, CohenUFO, 9 Germann, Val . firstname.lastname@example.org (Germannvh) . "Yet More McDonald -- 1/6" . alt.paranet.ufo . 12/21/95 . "Dr. James E. McDonald -- What Might Have Been - 1/6" 10 Hynek, J. Allen "The UFO Experience" Henry Regnery Company 1972 . Chapt. 11 "The Air Force and the UFO - Pages from Blue Book" . paragraph 18 11 Menkello, F. G. "Quantitative Aspects of Mirages," Report No. 6112, Menkello is a first lieutenant, USAF, Environmental Technical Applications Center. "It is easy to show that the 'air lenses' and 'strong inversions' postulated by Gordon and Menzel, among others, would need temperatures of several thousand degrees Kelvin in order to cause the mirages attributed to them." 12 Newsday (Long Island newspaper) . Fri 1/19/79 . UFOs Seen at Air Bases in 1975 : Fawcett, L. & Greenwood, B. "The UFO Cover- up" Simon & Schuster Fireside Book 1992 : Gersten, Peter (FOIA lawyer) . Frontiers of Science . May/June 1981 . "What the U.S. Government Knows About Unidentified Flying Objects" 13 CUFOS Journal (International UFO Reporter) . July/Aug 1990 . "Remarkable military encounter in Belgium" : also detailed in an "Unsolved Mysteries" television episode narrated by Robert Stack complete with Belgium military gun camera documentation and statements by Belgium Air Force personnel and police.
Respectfully submitted, Jerry CohenE-mail: email@example.com