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From AboveTopSecret.com  Thread:

The 1952 Tremonton, Utah UFO Fleet

Posted by jkrog08, on June 22, 2009 at 13:50 GMT


This great case has a very rare film taken from the witness, as well a great film analysis from the USAF itself regarding an in-depth case study of the July 2nd, 1952 Tremonton, Utah UFO Fleet sighting by Navy Officer Delbert Clement Newhouse. The images in the film consist of the actual recorded video from 1952 showing what appears to be a ”fleet” (multiple UFOs usually in formation seen hovering for an extended period) sighting in Utah. The rest of the video consists of the actual interview, albeit rehearsed for documentation, of the witness Officer Newhouse and a Project Blue Book investigating officer. It also shows an in-depth and commentated analysis of the film by USAF personal. The rest of the thread will provide a more detailed discussion and overview of the official government analysis, as well as my personal opinion on the case. This is yet another truly astonishing case in Ufology that many people do not know about and continues the saga of the “UFO Wave” from the late 1940’s to today. This film and case has been very briefly talked about on ATS and is not widely known among the general UFO interested public. It deserves much more considering the case. 

Hynek Classification: DD

Chapter Summary

  1. Details of The Sighting and Important Facts
  2. Alternate Explanations and Conclusions 
  3. My Conclusions

1. Details of The Sighting and Important Facts

Another great case involving a seasoned military witness amps up the UFO phenomena even more in the early 1950's. Technology was starting to boom at this time as a post war U.S. took over as the predominant superpower, and lucky for UFO researchers more technology means better and more imaging devices (i.e.; cameras). As willl be shown below, camcorders played a major part in documenting this case with nice video evidence. This case was among others included in the Robertson Panel , a much more serious and prudent UFO brain trust and investigation formed to take UFO research by the government to the next level following a mass of major UFO sightings, one of which placed multiple UFOs directly over the nations capitol a couple weeks after this event. 

Details of The Sighting

Photo of Officer Newhouse courtesy of nicap.org

At 11:00AM on July 2nd, 1952, Delbert Newhouse was driving from Washington D.C. to Portland Oregon for vacation on US highway 30-south with his wife and two children(Delbert and Anne). Seven miles into Tremonton, Utah his wife, Norma, noticed a group of strange objects in the sky and the car was pulled over to investigate. Luckily Newhouse had a camcorder in his luggage for the vacation, he proceeded to get it, place the celluloid film inside, and film the unknown objects for around 40 seconds. Keep in mind this was a 21 year military (US Navy) veteran who was still on active duty, coincidently he was also a Chief Photographer. He stated that he had never seen anything like this before and did not know what they were. By the time he got his Bell and Howell 16 mm camcorder out the objects had nearly made it to the horizon, Newhouse stopped filming once the objects were no longer visible to him. In addition to being a Chief Photographer Newhouse also had over 2,000 flying hours and stated that he had never seen anything resembling the “12 saucer shaped discs”. Their color and appearance was “silvery and metallic looking, like they were made of bright, polished metal”. He stated that their pattern of flight was somewhat circular and their sized resembled a fleet of B-29’s at 10,000 feet. Newhouse also said that the objects did not remain in formation at all times, with one object breaking off entirely and going off somewhere in the distance, in addition the objects made no sound or had any visible wake or exhaust. The weather was clear and sunny with excellent visibility. Newhouse stated that he was disappointed in the film compared to what he actually saw with his eyes. Newhouse admitted to making the mistake of setting the focus on ‘infinity’ instead of “F-8” but he was understandably shaken and excited. Newhouse then contacted the USAF and Navy and sent in his film. Newhouse also stated that before, during, or after no planes, balloons, or birds appeared in the sky while he was there.

Image of vintage Bell and Howell camcorder courtesy of tfgtransfer.com
Map showing location of incident in Utah, USA

The Video
Delbert Newhouse UFO Footage - 1952 - Tremonton, Utah


YouTube Link

NOTE: It has recently came to my attention that some members on here are deaf, so I will post a link to the transcript of the interview below for those who can not hear. 

Newhouse Interview Transcript

From my experience in investigating these Blue Book cases it seems that most of the time the first explanation is the right one, then after a year or so (sometimes more) it gets some ridiculous ‘normal’ explanation that does not make sense. Most of these early (47-65) cases stayed ‘unknown’ until the mid sixties when I believe a much broader cover-up began, as seen by the countless ludicrous explanations for these cases (See final explanation of Chiles-Whitted Case ).

Important Information

First let's start with some information on the witness, Delbert Newhouse:

  • Full name was Delbert Clement Newhouse 
  • Married with two children, a boy and a girl 12 and 14 years old 
  • 21 year veteran of the US Navy 
  • Official rank was Chief Warrant Officer 
  • Official job was Chief Photographer 
  • Over 2,000 hours filming and documenting US military air missions 
  • Graduated from the Naval Photographic School 
  • 39 years old at time of sighting
Now let?s look at sighting information and the analysis of the objects in the film:
  • Time of sighting was 11AM MST
  • Date of sighting was July 2nd, 1952 
  • Location was Tremonton, Utah on US highway 31- south 
  • Film was captured by a Bell and Howell 16mm video cameras
  • Lens was 3 inch 
  • Focus was infinity
  • 16 frames per second
  • Multiple lens filters were used; F8 and F16 
  • Film type was celluloid
  • Estimated distance from observer was 5 miles
  • Estimated size of objects based on that distance was between 16 and 98 feet
  • The estimated velocity was anywhere between 378-3748 mph depending on actual distance of objects and compensation for shaky film. Most have settled on 665 mph for a mean speed. However that is still supersonic.
  • Maximum acceleration computed at 21,168 mph/sec with G-Force at 965 
  • Minimum acceleration computed at 1,104 mph/sec with 50 g's 
  • Maximum deceleration computed at 32,448 mph/sec with 1479 g's
  • Minimum deceleration computed at 272 mph/sec at 12 g's 
  • It appears that the objects were self-illuminating
  • Evidence of abrupt changes in flight path throughout film
  • Certain objects appear to remain motionless while others move freely
  • Objects have same color and shape
  • Film was reprinted in 35mm by the USAF for better clarity and to avoid further degradation of the original 
  • Position of Sun at time of sighting was 64.5 degrees elevation and 131 degrees azimuth
  • No balloons in the area
  • No planes in the areaDistance, velocity, and weather information courtesy of nicap.org 

More Information:

The Montana Footage

In an effort not to derail the topic of this I will only very briefly go over this and provide some links for further research. In August of 1950 Nick Mariana captured film of two objects that appeared to be rotating discs in the sky over Great Falls, Montana. This film was surrounded in controversy as Mariana accused the USAF of keeping some of the film and not returning it. It was later discovered that the initial USAF Blue Book investigation contained false information regarding the film, it has been put forth that Mariana saw two fighter jets but that is still highly disputed to this day. The film was used as reference and comparison to the Newhouse film and contained many similarities that are definitely intriguing. The following are some links to more information: 

2. Alternate Explanations and Conclusions

As we saw in the last chapter there was much research carried out by the USAF and this was taken very seriously. The conclusions reached by the facts of the film analysis point to one of two things in my opinion. One is that this is actual video of objects of unknown technology, two is that this was a flock of birds that led to erroneous lab results from the lack of reference points, approximate distance, and modern film analysis technology. In this chapter I will go over the alternate explanations that could be possible to discount the UFO theory, as well the official conclusions reached by Blue Book. 

Alternate Explanations

There was put forth a variety of possible explanations to account for the fleet of objects filmed by Newhouse. Some put forth were pillow balloons, birds, insects, spider webs, “flying spiders”, reflected plane headlights, aircraft flares, temperature inversion, hoax, and more. None of those panned out with further research and logical conclusions, and in fact the only theory that even remotely fit was the “flock of seagulls theory”. We will go into that theory now. 

Picture courtesy of flickr.com

The Bird Theory

The film analysis was done by the USAF at Wright Field (home of Project Blue Book and Air Force Intelligence) and the Navy’s Anacostia film laboratory . More than 1,000 man hours went into the research of the Newhouse film with personal making graph plots of frames, relative and apparent motion calculations, and light intensity variation studies. Interestingly enough, Blue Book ruled the bird theory out first and concentrated on other things such as balloons or aircraft, the consensus that the objects seen in the film were not birds was almost completely unanimous. The final analysis by Blue Book came to the conclusion that the objects in the video were not birds for the following reasons:

  • There is no flapping or fluttering in any of the detailed analysis of the film. If the objects were birds, even at 10,000 feet you would still be able to see the characteristic ‘wing flapping’, which was not seen at all. 
  • It was also the opinion of the experts that the objects were self-luminous because there was no blinking while passing through 60 degrees of arc. This means that what Newhouse saw could not have possibly been birds because birds are not self-luminous !
Image of flight path of ‘fleet’ courtesy of nicap.org
Graph showing angular velocity and position courtesy of nicap.org
Memorandum to the Director of Naval Intelligence courtesy of nicap.org
Here is a good freeze frame showing the ‘fleet’ Courtesy of ufologie.net
For comparison purposes here is a picture of a gander of Snow Geese in a V-type formation
courtesy of flickr.com
Here is a summary of the findings of the analysis by the USAF and Navy teams
courtesy of bluebookarchive.org
The following is the report by the military personal after conducting Photogrammetric and Spectroscopic tests on the film. I have highlighted the pertinent areas with a yellow and red underline for ease of discovery. All original document images courtesy of bluebookarchive.org

Page 1:

Page 2:
Page 3:
Official Conclusions

Those documents that I just showed pretty much dismiss any alternate explanations in any likely probability. So if the objects were not spiders, chaff, planes, or birds what were they? When one takes into account the velocity and acceleration calculations as well, it appears that whatever these objects were that they are still not currently known to exist by anyone, lest maybe a few privy government officials. In the same year of the sighting, due to a continuing influx of sightings (especially the “DC Flap”) a special panel, called the Robertson Panel, made up of qualified scientists led by Dr. H.P. Robertson was set up by the CIA to further investigate the UFO phenomena before Blue Book made a more public final conclusion of their research on the events they had investigated. Blue Book presented its best cases, including this one to the panel for review. The panel’s main goal was to ‘debunk’ all UFO reports in the “interest of national security” as they felt the “hysteria” of public reports wasting the military’s time was distracting the main purpose of the military. They concluded that the majority of cases could be explained by mundane explanations and the remaining minority could too with further study. Well the Robertson Panel, which was heavily infused with CIA officials and world renowned professional skeptics like Donald Menzel, Dr. Condon, and many others came to another conclusion; They said that the objects were “very obviously a flock of birds” and closed the case.

The astronomer of the group, Dr. Donald Menzel found that a incorrect procedure was used by the Navy in their use of the Densitometer. He said the tests should be redone, they never were and it is not known if the errors would have made a difference anyways. Another member, Dr. Thornton Page said that he thought the film showed a flock of seagulls. His only argument was that they look like “seagulls he had seen where he lives”. He and other members ignored the other evidence of the case, such as Newhouse’s testimony of seeing the objects closer and in much more detail before he got the film out, as well the two in-depth analysis run on the film. They offered no acceptable rebuttal evidence to the official Blue Book conclusion and even the famous skeptic Dr. Condon did not agree with the panel’s final explanation, which judging by their lack of counter evidence to the facts of the case it seems that they wanted to pretty much attribute the sighting to a flock of supersonic, glowing seagulls! Here are some further reasons given by the Panel to why they felt it was birds, this of course in addition to them saying that “they could not accept the conclusions reached by Blue Book and the Navy “:

  • a. A semi-spherical object can readily produce a reflection of sunlight without ‘blinking’ through 60” of arc travel. 
  • b. Although no data was available on the “albedo” of birds or polyethylene balloons in bright sunlight, the apparent motions, sizes and brightnesses of the objects were considered strongly to suggest birds, particularly after the Panel viewed a short film showing high reflectivity of seagulls in bright sunlight. 
  • c. P.I.L. description of the objects sighted as “ circular, bluish-white” in color would be expected in cases of specular reflections of sunlight from convex surfaces where the brilliance of the reflection would obscure other portions of the object.
(Chapter 11, Durant report of the Robertson Panel Proceedings) 

Obviously it appears that the Panel disregarded all evidence and twisted and distorted the facts to fit their purpose, which was debunking. In fact it is widely believed that the reason for the stigma on Ufology is directly related to the Robertson Panel placing a bad tag on UFOs, this has also been stated by some of the members themselves. The following excerpt is an example of how the Robertson Panel disregarded the evidence in reaching their quick decision:

The report of Photogrammetric analysis by Dr. Robert M.L. Baker, Jr., Douglas Aircraft Corporation (which included a study of the 1950 Montana film) examined the possibility of seagulls. He states: "The motion of the objects is not exactly what one would expect from a flock of soaring birds (not the slightest indication of a decrease in brightness due to periodic turning with the wind or flapping)." Dr. Baker reports that no definite conclusion could be reached, but "the evidence remains rather contradictory and no single hypothesis of a natural phenomenon yet suggested seems to completely account for the UFO involved."

Now the Condon Report, which devoted nine pages to this sighting, stated that to come to the conclusion that Menzel did about the film being of “seagulls because it was such poor quality is erroneous.” Yea, I would say so myself! The report also stated that the objects are “a light source rather then a reflected light” (Condon Report, P.423) and that no known bird could be responsible for the ‘glow’ of the objects. Also the speeds at which the objects were moving is supersonic, thus ruling out a bird, unless of course we are talking about “Rodan”! So it appears that the Robertson Panel was the only entity to come to the “bird conclusion”, regardless the contrary evidence. One more point I want to make is that if the film was simply birds and the Robertson Panel stated that the public should be made aware of all research and evidence then why did this happen:

In April 1954, the Cleveland Press, a Scripps-Howard paper, was asking authorities at ATIC for permission to see the Tremonton, Utah film, because there were other numerous consecutive sightings by US Marines that created UFO interest in the press again at this time. The Pentagon dragged its feet, but finally agreed to let a journalist see it at Dayton. By the time the reporter was ready to make the trip, ATIC told him that their only copy had just burned up. No worry, said ATIC, as there was a master copy at the Pentagon. When the reporter spoke with an Air Force spokesman at the Pentagon, he was told, "we have no copy here, but we believe there is one at Dayton." The reporter gave up. The Press ran a January 6 headline, "Brass Curtain Hides Flying Saucers."

The head of Project Blue Book, Captain Edward J. Ruppelt quit after this event for reasons I think could be considered Ruppelt’s fatigue with the government sidestepping of the public. The departure of Ruppelt from Blue Book was the main transition from the actual pursuit of truth from the USAF to a full scale cover-up in many others and my opinion. 

More Information
Robertson Panel Report
Condon Report

3. My Conclusions

The shear amount of professional government analysis of the evidence in this case makes the Tremonton sighting one of the most analyzed cases in Ufology. Not only was the witness in this case incredibly credible but actually managed to take film of the sighting. Judging from the lack of any decent alternate explanation from the top three cases of the previous decade (which did not have any film or pictures) it is obvious why this case was taken to a much higher level of review since there was actual footage involved and not just witness testimony and radar contacts. Because of the footage it was not so easy to sweep this under the rug and attach a “psychological, misidentification, or astronomical” explanation to this case, it demanded answers and detailed research to find those answers. Every single mundane explanation that was put forth was dismissed by the evidence but yet after review the Robertson Panel still managed to call this a sighting nothing but a flock of birds, which in my opinion was simply a quick and mundane tag to place on this case to squash it quickly. Because of the large amount of documented analysis of the footage in this case there is a lot of documentation available for research. If one simply reads what I have laid out in this thread there is no way the official explanation is valid. The evidence speaks for itself in this one, but yet many still choose to believe the official government story because it is ‘official’. 

In conclusion, my opinion of this film is footage of a true UFO, or unidentified flying object. I further believe that what Delbert Newhouse filmed was spacecraft controlled by intelligent beings from another planet. I have came to this conclusion by simply following the USAF and Navy’s analysis. The official explanation by the Robertson Panel is invalid for many reasons in my opinion, the main one being that the entire purpose of the panel was to debunk all of the top Blue Book cases, they had no interest in analyzing the cases, even there own members and Blue Book personal said that. When you spend less than 12 hours total and look over only 23 out of 2,300 plus top cases and come to the conclusion they did, in the face of all evidence, one simply can not take their conclusion seriously. Is it possible that the objects remained unidentified do to the primitive analysis of the early 1950’s? Sure, but keep in mind that the mathematical calculations of velocity, luminosity, and acceleration was some of the strongest evidence in this case and math is still the same today as it was then. Is there still a possibility that modern film analysis methods could prove one way or another? Probably so, but unfortunately the original film is under lock and key at the Pentagon, so this is not possible. It is the cases like this one that truly make Ufology and that need to be presented to as many people as possible so that people can see this is a serious issue with heavy and legitimate documentation and research. I am only presenting this case and offering my opinion, the final decision is up to you the reader, as it always is. 

Special thanks to ATS member AshleyD  for imaging help.

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