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Friday, March 9, 2012

UFO-Aircraft Encounters: The BOAC Stratocruiser Incident and The “B-29 Gulf of Mexico Incident”

From AboveTopSecret.com  Thread: 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
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Courtesy: ufocasebook.com
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. 
Chapter Summary
  1. The B-29 Incident Over The Gulf 
  2. The BOAC Stratocruiser Incident 
  3. My Conclusions of Both Cases
1) The B-29 Incident Over The Gulf
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Courtesy: nicap.org
Hynek Classification: CE1,R/V
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. 
Important Details
The Crew:
• 1st LT. Norman Karas-Visual Observation 
• 1st LT. WM Naumann Jr- Instrument Navigation 
• Master Sgt. B.R. Percell-Assistant Radar Operator 
• Staff Sgt. WM J Derouse-Gunner 
• 2nd LT. Robert J Eckert-Navigation 
• Staff Sgt. HD Shogren-Radar Operator 
• Captain John Harter-Flight Commander 
• Lieutenant Sidney Coleman-Radar Operator 
• Master Sergeant Bailey Percell- Assistant Radar Operator 
• Staff Sgt. Ferris-Assistant Radar Operator 
• Crew had several hundred hours of flying time and experience combined between them. 
Weather, Radar, and Location Information
 
• Weather was clear and windless with a temperature of 10 degrees Celsius. 
• All oil refineries were spotted and accounted for as well. 
• There were 25 hits in ten minutes. 
• UREs seen on multiple scopes by three different personal. 
• Radar was working properly according to crew. 
• Location was around 100 miles south of Louisiana and 190 miles east of Galveston, Texas. 
• All UREs (also called UFOs in this case because of the visuals) were at around the same altitude as the plane, which was 18,000 feet. 
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Map Showing Location of Encounter
NOTE:
The other research files on this case (included in sources section) give different coordinates, but those are obviously erroneous once you plug them in as it would place the aircraft close to the Sea of Cortez. This is likely due to the poor condition of the Blue Book files. My information was computed using logic and the original Blue Book map you can find here. The exact coordinates may differ by a small margin but I assure you they are close within an acceptable margin of error. 
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?"  "Yes-I saw it," said Harter.
"We clocked it," said Coleman. "You won't believe this-it was making over 9,000 miles an hour!" 
"I believe it, all right," Harter said grimly. "That's just what I figured."
www.nicap.org...
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:
Captain Harter: "One group of blips was noted, after the set was calibrated, to arc about and swing in behind us at about 30 miles, and maintain speed and distance for approximately ten seconds . . Contact was broken off at 0535, after a group of the blips merged into a one half-inch arc and proceeded across the scope and off it at a computed speed of over 9,000 m.p.h." Lieutenant Coleman: "I noticed one UFO approach our aircraft at a terrific rate of speed. I timed it as best I could with a stop-watch over a known distance and the flight engineer computed the speed at 5,240m.p.h. I alerted the entire crew to look for the objects visually, and flashes of light were noted. The closest the objects came was approximately 20 miles. I saw about 20 objects in all. I recalibrated the set and there was no change.
"The objects were small and possibly round, with the exception of one very large return shaped as follows, one- half-inch curved arc. I also noticed a large return come up to within 40 miles of our tail from behind and then disappear. To the best of my knowledge, I believe that this object was real and moved at an extremely high speed and was not a set malfunction or optical illusion."
Master Sergeant Bailey: "The radar operator clocked the object [the first one seen] and I computed the air speed of the object to average 5,240 m.p.h. Twice during the period, the radar operator reported an object to be passing at 3 o'clock. Upon looking out the window, I saw a blue-white streak travel front to rear and disappear under the wing."
Staff Sergeant Ferris: "After the radar operator reported objects approaching at 4 o'clock, I immediately looked in that position and saw two flashes of a blue-white nature for approximately three seconds." 
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:
  • Meteors: Blue Book only put forth this theory in the middle of the investigation because the Geminid Meteor Showers were taking place at this time. But it was never taken as an acceptable answer for the case for many reasons that are obvious, such as the intelligent maneuvers (slowing down and speeding up, merging into one object).
  • Mirage: If one is to speculate that a mirage of either an oil refinery, star, or meteor could account for the visual sightings then one must also account for the radar contacts. This by itself seems impossible by any probable stretch.
  • Meteor/Mirage Combination: More likely then either of the first two by themselves. This theory was never put forth by anyone to my knowledge until now. Theoretically it is possible that the visual sightings could have been caused by a mirage of a higher meteor or a meteor making it into the lower atmosphere . The radar hits could have been caused by echoes off of meteors making it to the lower atmosphere as well. But this scenario is highly unlikely as any astronomer would tell you. 
Official Conclusions 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: 
  • Several changes of course were made, and two phases of acceleration were performed. Speeds of 5.000 to 9.000 miles per hour with maneuvers and motionless capability exclude any meteor whatsoever as it is too slow, and exclude any known human flying machine of 1952 and ever since, as it is much too fast. Planes cruising at 5000 miles per hour at an altitude of 18.000 feet would simply immediately disintegrate. Rockets of that time did not have the observed maneuverability.
  • The fact that the objects arrived head on, turned back, paced the plane, went away to joined with a much larger one which then fled away at an impossible speed is indicative of an intelligent driven operation. 
  • No known human plane or rocket emits a blue light. 
  • Neither meteors nor planes nor rockets do not make rendez-vous. 
  • No rocket or plane has the size seen by the crew for the largest object on the radarscope. 
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:
NICAP Case Directory
Blue Book Documents(pp.973-76, 985-1003) 
ufologie.net
2) The BOAC Stratocruiser UFO Incident
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Courtesy: nicap.org
Hynek Classification: DD 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 Howard 
• First Officer- Lee Boyd 
• Navigator- George Allen 
• Radio Officer- Douglas Scott 
• Engineer Officer- Daniel Godfrey 
• Engineer Officer- William Stewart 
• Stewardess- Daphne Webster 
• 4 more members of the crew and 12 passengers signed sworn statements about their sighting. 
• Many of the crew were highly distinguished military veterans of World War Two. 
• Cloud ceiling was 14,000 feet, weather at TOS(time of sighting) was clear with unlimited visibility. 
• For some reason the official data from this sighting is not available(apparently), however I did find a youtube video from the British Archives that has a clip from an interview with the Captain and crew, as well sketches. 
The 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.
www.nicap.org... After about ten minutes the airplane was now within VHS communication range of Goose Bay, Labrador. After making contact with the control tower:
"They asked us to describe what we were seeing, and told us that they had an F-94 on patrol and would vector him toward us. (The F-94 was a radar-equipped two-seat fighter.) A little later Goose Bay asked us to change frequency and talk direct to the fighter. On doing so we learned that he had us in radar contact-no mention of anything else visible. I gave him a bearing of the objects from us, and as I did so I noticed that the small objects had disappeared. (My navigator who was watching them closely at this time said that they appeared to converge on, and enter, the large one.) As the F-94 approached, the large object dwindled in size, still on the same relative bearing as the Stratocruiser, and after a few seconds disappeared. Captain Howard then started his descent into Goose Bay for the refueling stop, and landed at 01:45 GMT. "We were questioned at length by USAF Intelligence at Goose Bay (who, incidentally, seemed totally unsurprised at the sighting - they told us there had been several others in the Labrador area recently)," said Howard. "We left Goose Bay at 03:14 GMT for London, arriving at 12:27 on the 30th." 
www.nicap.org...
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Picture of F-94 Starfire courtesy of Wikipedia.org

 
Map of sighting area:
Here is an interesting bit of information: 
Captain Howard subsequently learned that a doctor and his wife, who were on holiday in Massachusetts, had seen a number of objects flying overhead in a northeasterly direction at about the time the Stratocruiser was being held near the coast of Rhode Island. Unfortunately, Goose Bay had only short range airfield control radar at the time, and the F-94 did not report having tracked the objects on its radar equipment. Since the Stratocruiser left for .London before the fighter returned, Captain Howard had no opportunity to question the crew. But if the hold was caused by unidentified traffic in the Boston control area, Howard surmised, the objects were presumably tracked on radar there.
www.nicap.org...

It is interesting to note that the exact same type formation of “jellyfish, shape-shifting” UFOs was spotted that same day off the coast of Ungava Bay, Canada by the Navy Ice Cutter The Edisto. Ungava Bay is hundreds of miles away from the BOAC encounter
Video of Interview
Captain James Howard UFO
29th June 1954 - JFK to London. Sighted over Labrador, Newfoundland at 19000ft. 
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Here is a collection of newspaper clippings, courtesy of bluebookarchive.org:
MISC-AFOSR4-184
MISC-AFOSR4-178
MISC-AFOSR4-183
After the twenty minute ordeal the Boeing Superfortress landed in Goose Bay to refuel and the rest of its flight was without incident.  Alternate Explanations and Official Explanations
  • Mirage- Not likely for multiple reasons, the first being that the terrain over Quebec is mountainous and not flat. The horizon was about 250 miles away to the west-northwest over the Otish Mountains. The updrafts from the mountains also tend to cause disruption in the air layers. Secondly the experts at the Condon Committee concluded a mirage was not possible for this case. Thirdly, the UFOs were too far below the horizon to constitute a mirage. Based on the captains reports there is a 30-45 degree depression angle for the UFOs, some other estimates from other researches have put it at 20-25 degrees. However both estimates are many, many degrees to much to be a mirage based on our current understandings of mirages. More over, the captain stated that the objects had climbed to their altitude of 19,000 feet. This would mean the mirage would have make a smooth transition from a mirage below the horizon (inferior mirage) to one above it(superior mirage) with no disruptions between the changeover. This is simply unheard of in mirages. Finally a mirage has to reflect off of something, considering the angle of the Sun there seems to be nothing that possibly could have been at that altitude to cause the mirage. For a detailed scientific report weighing the pros and cons of a mirage you can visit the following link:
Mirage Possibilities  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. 
Both quotations courtesy of bluebookarchives.org Official Conclusions
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. 
Helpful Links
 

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: 
Sources, Related Threads, and My Related Threads
Sources

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