The UFO Files
UFO-Aircraft Encounters: The BOAC Stratocruiser Incident and The “B-29 Gulf of Mexico Incident”
Posted by jkrog08, on July 19, 2009 at 11:32 GMT
These two cases took place in 1950’s, the same decade that a major wave was happening, with great documented cases like the D.C. Flap, The Tremonton Fleet, The Mariana Film, Lakenheath-Bentwaters, Edwards AFB Sighting, and The Lubbock Lights among the tops. Both of these cases consist of radar/visual reports of an aircraft-UFO encounter, both of these cases are classified in the Blue Book Unknowns. The following cases are presented in chronological order.
In the early morning hours on December 6th, 1952 during a training mission over the Gulf of Mexico, the crew of a B-29 Superfortress , cruising at 18,000 feet, made radar and visual contact with multiple UFOs. The crew was returning to Florida from a night practice flight and was about 100 miles south of the Louisiana coast under clear weather and bright moonlight very early in the morning. At around 5:25 AM Lieutenant Sid Coleman checked his radar scope to see if he could see the coast line. What he saw was a URE (Unknown Radar Echo) at the edge of the screen, that in the next sweep had gone 13 miles in that brief pause between the sweeps. Another URE appeared on the screen and appeared to be heading right for the B-29 at 5,240(by manual calculations) mph! This is only the first incident in the case, I will cover the rest below, but first let’s go over some details of the crew.
• 1st LT. Norman Karas-Visual ObservationWeather, Radar, and Location Information
• Weather was clear and windless with a temperature of 10 degrees Celsius.
The Rest of The Sightings
As I have shown in the opening the initial contact was made at about 5:25 AM on December 6th, 1952, 100 miles south of the Louisiana coastline. The initial URE contacts (which were three) were clocked at speeds of around 5,000 mph. The following is the summary of the remainder of the incidents as initially recorded by Major Donald Keyhole and subsequently NICAP:
When LT. Coleman alerted his Captain of the speed of the URE the Captain did not believe him stating “that’s impossible, recalibrate your scope!”---the speed was the same as before. After the initial contacts were recorded the action picked up immensely , with the next set of contacts coming just as Coleman was rechecking the calculations when Master Sgt. Bailey spotted another two UREs. Lieutenant Eckert, the navigator spotted the two more UREs as well. At this time the UFOs were on all three scopes, which were recalibrated to show no malfunctions. As an unknown URE was spotted on radar at “3 o’clock” Master Sgt. Bailey Percell witnessed a “white-blue” object streak by in a blur under the bombers right wing”.
At this time three more UREs appeared on the radar screens at an apparent speed of over 5,000 mph (Around Mach 7) on a bearing dead ahead (12 o’clock). The three UFOs veered to miss the bomber by “some miles”. There now was a brief pause of activity 6 minutes into the incident that lasted only briefly as another group of UREs appeared on the scopes at the same speed as before. At the 4 o’clock position two more UFOs of the same “white-blue color” streaked by the aircraft, this was seen visually by Staff Sgt. Ferris. Forty miles behind the B-29 5 more UREs appeared (which actually were observed on radar to “swerve” into the path f the aircraft) and were calculated to be there in three seconds(48,000 mph or around Mach 47).
But then the UREs slowed down to match the bombers speed almost instantly! That is a deceleration from Mach 47 to match the subsonic speed of the B-29 (cruise speed around 220 mph)near instantly! The UFOs kept pace with the aircraft for around 10 seconds then quickly picked up speed and merged to one side. They then proceeded to merge into one object (on the radar scope) and zoom off at around 9,000 mph. Coleman alerted the Captain:
"Captain, did you see that?"Alternate Explanations and Official Conclusions
When the crew landed they were immediately questioned by intelligence officers with the USAF(They had radioed ahead and alerted the ground of their incident). Here are some statements, all courtesy of nicap.org:
I have confirmed these statements from the official Blue Book Documents(Pages 973-76, 985-1003), unfortunately they are greatly degraded and in bad perspective. For ease of viewing I am using these “text only” statements which I have authenticated as stated.
As far as alternate conclusions go in this case there are very few, that is why this is listed in the Blue Book Unknowns file. The leading candidates are a meteor shower and mirage, but that is it. We will look at those now:
There have been no skeptical organization (such as the Condon Committee) to offer comments about this case that I could find in my research. Actually the only statement other than Blue Books came from a NASA scientist who became their “unofficial UFO investigator”, Paul R. Hill, who had the following to say on the case:www.ufologie.net...
This was the same agreement that Blue Book and other ufological associations have had about the case. As I have said in the opening, this case is still officially listed in the “UNKNOWN” category by the USAF.
Helpful Links On Case:
This is another excellent case of UFO-Aircraft encounters included in the “Blue Book Unknowns”, this time in 1954 involving a British commercial airliner’s crew and passengers seeing multiple UFOs. A fighter jet was scrambled to intercept the UFO as well, but did not find anything. Despite the lack of radar evidence in this case the fact that multiple witnesses(crew and passengers) saw it and it corresponds to another sighting made by a Navy Ice Cutter hundreds of miles away on the same day gives this case a very interesting aspect to explore. The big, double decker BOAC (British Overseas Airway Corporation) Boeing Stratocruiser luxury plane, the Centaurus would be followed for 80 miles miles over the North Atlantic “Champagne and Caviar” (New York to London slang term) flight.
Important Details: The Witnesses and Other Important Information
• Captain- James HowardThe Sighting
On June 29th, 1954 Flight 510-196 took off from New York at 3:03PM EST. About three hours(6:03PM EST) later after a detour to route via Cape Cod the flight was over the St. Lawrence Estuary near Seven Islands, Quebec at 19,000 feet when the captain noticed some strange objects. Captain Howard stated that the objects were moving at the same speed as the flight, which was around 230 Knots (265 mph). The objects appeared to be on a near parallel course to the aircraft, maybe 3-4 miles ahead of them on the northwest direction.
Howard stated that the objects were below the cloud cover at this time, he guesses at 8,000 feet. When the aircraft crossed the coast of Labrador the clouds ended and the UFOs became fully visible. Howard also stated that the UFOs appeared to have ascended nearly to their altitude of 19,000 feet. As mentioned earlier in this section the weather at TOS was clear with unlimited visibility. The objects remained with the plane for more than enough time for the crew and several passengers to draw sketches and observe the apparent UFO fleet, which was with the Boeing for twenty minutes in all.
A statement of the apparent size, shape, and number of unknown objects:
There was one large object and six smaller globular things. The small ones were strung out in a line, sometimes 3 ahead and 3 behind the large one, sometimes 2 ahead and 4 behind, and so on, but always at the same level. The large object was continually, slowly, changing shape, in the way that a swarm of bees might alter its appearance. They appeared to be opaque and hard-edged, gray in color, no lights or flames visible.
After about ten minutes the airplane was now within VHS communication range of Goose Bay, Labrador. After making contact with the control tower:www.nicap.org...
Here is an interesting bit of information:
Video of Interview
Captain James Howard UFO
Here is a collection of newspaper clippings, courtesy of bluebookarchive.org:
Alternate Explanations and Official Explanations
When the mirage explanation was put forth for the sighting, Captain Howard has this to say:
At 19,000 feet, a mirage of what? Our own aircraft? No. That would be a reflected shadow. The shadow must fall on something to be visible, and there was nothing. The light from the setting sun could not possibly throw a shadow toward itself.He went on to say:
It must have been some weird form of space ship from another world.
This case is listed as unexplained in the Condon Report (pp.139-40,173,961) although the Committee’s physicist Gordon Thayer said “it was almost certainly a natural phenomenon, which is so rare that it apparently has never been reported before or since.” This case is listed as “UNKNOWN” in the Blue Book Unknowns. The MoD have not given an explanation either.
3) My Conclusions On Both Cases
On the B-29 Case:
This one is certainly hard to dismiss as prosaic. Multiple military witnesses, multiple radar hits, and multiple visual conformations. The fact that this case is still unknown to this day, in my opinion speaks volumes. Cases like this one and the BOAC case I also covered may not be well known or have a plethora of information and nice pictures but that really doesn’t matter. What evidence this and many others have is more than enough to even hold the USAF and skeptics like the Condon Committee in reserve. The only somewhat possible alternate explanation (meteor/mirage) is still highly unlikely and to be honest somewhat preposterous in my opinion. But all things must be looked at so I do respect the scientific method and any reasonable explanations put forth in ufology. In my opinion the UFOs in this case were very likely extraterrestrial in nature and flying in craft that are still to this day FAR in advance of our best.
On The BOAC Encounter:
Again with this case another great set of witnesses with very limited and unlikely prosaic possibilities. Unfortunately there is no photographic evidence once again for this case(as with so many great ones), nor radar contacts confirmed. BUT with over twenty witnesses, two more sightings of the same UFO ‘fleet’ at different locations that day it surely leads me to believe that whatever the objects were, they defiantly were not any atmospheric phenomena that we know of. This is another “Blue Book Unknown”, as well a ‘Condon Unknown’. Once again the available evidence points to something truly unknown going on in our skies then, and still now, today. The scientific research done in this case by many researchers point to that very fact. The nature of a craft changing shapes , sizes, and disappearing entirely is still beyond our capabilities today. I by far am NO “official ufologist” (if you can even say that, since it is NOT a course offered in Universities, lol) and do not intend to sway people one way or another; BUT again I must offer my opinion that this is yet another extraterrestrial/dimensional piloted craft in all likely possibilities in my mind(based of the available evidence). :cool: :up:
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