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Revisiting the 1952 Washington DC UFO Flap

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posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 07:43 AM
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"A few days prior to the incident, a scientist, from an agency that I can't name and I were talking about the build-up of reports along the east coast of the United States". At the end of the two hour conversation, the scientist made a prediction: ..... 'Within the next few days....they're going to blow up and you're going to have the granddaddy of all UFO sightings. The sighting will occur in Washington or New York,' he predicted, 'probably Washington.'"

Source : Captain Edward Ruppelt - ”The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects”



Whilst this story has appeared in a number of past threads I was inspired by another member ‘PlanetXisHERE’ ( in another thread) to look into this case further.

Mainly because I remembered reading the story back when I was kid (even though it was probably a good 25+ years old by then) and I thought it may be time to refresh my memory. Hopefully a few of you will be able to add your own angle on one of the first mass UFO sightings of modern times.

The thread is a reasonably long one and will constitute 6 different parts:

- Background

- First Weekend of Contacts July 19th 1952

- The Second Weekend of Contacts July 26th 1952


- President Truman Gets Involved?

- Official Air Force Conclusions and Press Conference

- The Robertson Panel


So let’s roll..................


Background

Statistically speaking - the 1952 Flying Saucer flap was one of the largest in the United States.


According to a study J.Allen Hynek conducted on “unknowns” in Project Blue Book, 1952 was also the peak year by some distance. Part of the reason behind this was that ‘Blue Book’ was getting snowed under with reports and was severely under staffed. Consequently some reports were never looked into in any detail and remain unknown for that reason alone. But something more than vivid imaginations were at work.


Source Hynek - The UFO Report 1977


The peak month in 1952 was July. A month of 55 “unidentified” cases (more in total than in many other years).

Sightings occurred across much of the United States and close to U.S. military installations in Korea, Japan, Greenland, Newfoundland and (then) West Germany. Many of these reports came from military fighter pilots. There was also a major UFO flap during Operation Mainbrace, a series of NATO military exercises happening in Europe during September of 1952.

However the events that have always been the focus of the 1952 Flying Saucer wave were the two July weekends of major UFO sightings when unidentified flying objects supposedly buzzed Capitol Hill , the White House and the Pentagon. This was also the first time that the US Air Force had confirmed visual sightings of unidentified objects had also been tracked by radar.


Washington UFO wave on video




edit on 30/11/14 by mirageman because: tidy up and links added



+17 more 
posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 07:43 AM
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First Weekend of Contacts - July 19th 1952



The Washington sightings, that spooked a nation, began late in the evening of Saturday, July 19th 1952. At around 23:40 hrs air traffic controller at Washington National Airport, Edward Nugent, detected seven objects located 15 miles south to southwest of the city on his radar. No aircraft were known to be in that area and the objects were not following established flight paths.

Nugent called his supervisor, Harry Barnes, a senior air-traffic controller to his radarscope. Barnes later said:




"We knew immediately that a very strange situation existed . . . their movements were completely radical compared to those of ordinary aircraft."



Nugent's radar was checked out by two technicians who found no fault with the equipment. Barnes also contacted the National Airport's other radar centre.

Howard Cocklin, the controller there, confirmed he also had the objects on radar. More significantly Cocklin also stated that he could see one of the objects, a bright orange light, from the control tower window. Although he could not make out what was behind it.

Then more objects appeared on his scope that appeared to be moving across the Capitol and over the White House. This prompted a frantic call to Andrews Air Force Base.


Andrews Air Force Base did not see anything unusual on their radar initially. But in the early hours of Sunday 20th July, William Brady, who was in the tower responding to another strange sighting, observed an orange ball of fire with a trailing tail that suddenly "took off at an unbelievable speed."



Capital Airlines pilot, S.C Pierman, was waiting on a runway, and told that the control tower's radar had picked up unknown objects closing in on his position. He noted six white, fast-moving lights that he reported over the radio to Barnes . Barnes said "each sighting coincided with a pip we could see near his aircraft. When he reported that the light streaked off at a high speed, it disappeared on our scope."

Back at Andrews Air Force Base, the control tower staff were tracking multiple objects on radar. SSgt. Charles Davenport saw an orange-red light which appeared to stand still, then make several abrupt changes in direction and height. The National Airport’s and radar centres at Andrews AFB were simultaneously tracking an object hovering over a radio beacon. The object vanished in all three radar centres at the same time.

Just after 3 a.m., two jet fighters scrambled from Delaware arrived over Washington. All of the objects abruptly vanished from the radar screens.

Bizarrely the objects returned almost as soon as the interceptors landed to refuel some 20-30 minutes later. Barnes was convinced that the UFOs were somehow monitoring air traffic and “behaving accordingly." The objects last blips on the radar occurred at around 5:30 hrs. Around sunrise, a civilian radio engineer E.W. Chamber reported seeing five enormous disks circling in a loose formation, tilted upward and leaving on a steep ascent from the Washington suburbs.



Earlier in the year 'Life' Magazine had featured an article “Have We Visitors from Space” declaring “There is a case for interplanetary saucers” on their front cover above the left shoulder of a provocative shot of Marilyn Monroe . The cover attracted a lot of attention from the male population. Whilst the article inside certainly made readers consider whether we were alone in the universe.






By mid-summer 1952, newspapers from around the world began contemplating the same question.


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posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 07:44 AM
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The Second Weekend of Contacts July 26th 1952



On Saturday, July 26th 1952, a pilot on a flight into Washington for National Airlines observed strange objects above his aircraft at around 20:15hrs.

Both Washington National Airport, and Andrews AFB, now had unknown objects on their radar for a second weekend in a row. One eye witness at Andrews AFB, a master sergeant, later described the lights as not having a tail and moving much faster than any shooting star.



Albert M. Chop, Project Blue Book’s press spokesman, arrived at National Airport and immediately refused a number of requests from the press to photograph the radar screens. At 21:30hrs he joined staff in the radar centre. They were picking up unknown objects in every sector.




At first the objects seemed to be moving slowly across radar scopes. But they would then rapidly change direction and move at speeds calculated to be 7,000 mph. By 23:30 hrs, two jet fighters from Newcastle AFB in Delaware arrived over Washington. Flight leader, Capt. John McHugo, saw nothing, despite a number of intercept attempts. Wingman, Lt. William Patterson, however, spotted four white glowing lights headed towards their location. The lights surrounded his fighter leaving Patterson desperately requesting instructions from the control tower at National Airport . He heard only a stunned silence. There was no procedure to deal with such an encounter.




The four brightly lit objects then sped away from Patterson's jet and disappeared much to everyone’s relief. Saturday night gradually faded into the early hours of Sunday morning, July 27th. Both Major Dewey Fournet, Project Blue Book's Pentagon liaison officer, and Lt. John Holcomb, a US Navy radar specialist, arrived at Washington Airport radar centre.

Washington National Weather Station informed Holcomb that a slight temperature inversion was present over the capital. Holcomb was convinced that the inversion was not "nearly strong enough to explain the 'good and solid' returns" on the radarscopes. Fournet felt that the targets were most likely caused by solid metallic objects. There had been weather targets on the scope too, he said, but this was a common occurrence and the controllers "were paying no attention to them."

Yet again two jets from Newcastle AFB were scrambled during the night. One pilot saw nothing unusual, the other saw a white light vanishing as he closed in. A Capital Airlines pilot leaving Washington spotted "odd lights" which remained visible for about twelve minutes.


As on the previous weekend, sunrise marked the end of the sightings and unknown radar returns.

edit on 30/11/14 by mirageman because: edits


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posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 07:44 AM
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President Truman Gets Involved?



Once again the UFO sightings had made headline news. There was an air of nervous uncertainty within the US military and this could conceivably have resulted in a “shoot down” order. A number of news stories reported on this in late July 1952.



"The Air Force revealed today that jet pilots have been placed on twenty-four-hour nationwide 'alert' against 'flying saucers' with orders to 'shoot them down' if they refuse to land."

The San Francisco Examiner July 29th 1952

"Maj. Gen. Roger Ramey, deputy Chief of the Air Force Staff for Operations, told the news conference [July 29] that interceptor planes have raced aloft several hundred times as a result of reported sighting of unidentified objects. He said that was just standard procedure."

The Louisville Courier-Journal. July 30th 1952




Air Force public information officer, Lt. Col. Moncel Monte, confirmed the directive stating:




"The jet pilots are, and have been, under orders to investigate unidentified objects and to shoot them down if they can't talk them down."



He also mentioned that no pilot had been able to get close enough to take a shot at a “flying saucer”. The objects sped away at speeds “as much as a thousand miles an hour” as soon as an interceptor got close or simply vanished. Air Force headquarters staff then issued contradictory statements to the media stating that the unidentified flying objects were no threat to the United States and did not seem to be under intelligent control.

The public became involved sending telegrams and letters to the White House stating that the policy was dangerous if the UFOs were controlled by extraterrestrial beings. These beings were assumed to be more technologically advanced than humans because they were capable of reaching Earth from another planet.

President Truman’s role in all of this seems a little uncertain. He was the first President to have to deal with the “Flying Saucer/UFO” issue. He would have to have known about Kenneth Arnold’s strange sightings. Whatever came down at Roswell would have certainly been on his agenda, and a number of other incidents in the previous 5 years could not have escaped the President’s notice. But there is nothing in any officially released records that really pin down Truman’s policy on UFOs.

Truman had set up the CIA in 1947 to centralize the fragmented intelligence structures within the country. Despite the CIA always denying any interest in UFOs, General Robert B. Landry, the Air Force Aide to the President revealed at Columbia University in 1974:



I was called in one afternoon (in 1948) to come to the Oval Office. "He, the President (Truman), wanted to see me. We talked about UFO reports and what might be the meaning for all these rather way-out reports of sightings, and the subject in general. The president said he hadn't give much serious thought to all these reports; but at the same time, he said, if there was any evidence of a strategic threat to the national security, the collection and evaluation of UFO data by Central Intelligence warranted more intense study and attention at the highest government level.

I was directed to report quarterly to the President after consulting with Central Intelligence people, as to whether or not any UFO incidents received by them could be considered as having any strategic threatening implications at all. The report was to be made orally by me, unless it was considered by intelligence to be so serious or alarming as to warrant a more detailed report in writing.
During the four and one-half years in office there, all reports were made orally. Nothing of substance considered credible or threatening to the country was ever received from intelligence."

Source: UFOs and the National Security State – Richard Dolan



Landry seemingly played down the subject, based on the fact that his reports were only ever delivered orally. But without a paper trail there are only rumours, whispers and hearsay. Secrets can be kept this way and if necessary obfuscated with false information if the need arises.

Was this policy deliberately instigated by Truman as part of a serious UFO secrecy program that lasts to this day?

Or did he simply think it was so insignificant that it wasn’t worth recording officially?





edit on 30/11/14 by mirageman because: pic added


+11 more 
posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 07:45 AM
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Official Air Force Conclusion and Press Conference



At the request of the President himself, Captain Edward Ruppelt was called on July 28th 1952 by, (then Brigadier General), Landry to brief him on the Washington sightings and to state what he knew of the phenomena.

Ruppelt describes President Truman’s concern in his book:



"About 10:00 a.m., the President’s air aide, Brigadier General Landry, called intelligence at President Truman’s request to find out what was going on. Somehow I got the call. I told General Landry that the radar target could have been caused by weather but we had no proof."

Source : The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects by Edward J. Ruppelt



Ruppelt later learned that President Truman had been listening while he was delivering this briefing to General Landry.

Given the levels of excitement and also a rising anxiety across the nation it was decided to hold a press conference at the Pentagon. Air Force Major Generals John Samford (USAF Director of Intelligence) and Roger Ramey (USAF Director of Operations) held the best attended press conference since WWII at the Pentagon on July 29th 1952.



Samford declared that the visual sightings over Washington were misidentified aerial phenomena (such as stars and meteors). He also stated that the unknown radar targets were caused by temperature inversions present in the air over Washington on both weekends.


Samford argued that the objects seen on radar were not solid material targets, and therefore posed no threat to the security of the nation. He admitted that there had been "hundreds" of such contacts when USAF interceptions had taken place, but stated they were all "fruitless."

Many civilians, UFO researchers, and Air Force personnel criticized the temperature inversion/mirage explanation. Both Major Fournet and Lt. Holcomb disagreed with the Air Force's explanation, but were not in attendance at Samford's press conference. Ruppelt also later found that hardly a night passed in June, July, and August in 1952 when inversions in Washington had not occurred.



Washington Airport (now Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport)

When Ruppelt, eventually interviewed the radar and control tower staff at Washington National Airport, no one agreed with Samford’s explanation. Prominent Ufologist ,Dr. James E. McDonald, conducted his own analysis of the Washington sightings. After interviewing four pilots and five radar operators, McDonald concluded that the Air Force explanation was "physically impossible."

Harry Barnes told McDonald that the radar targets "were not shapeless blobs such as one gets from ground returns under anomalous propagation", and that he was certain the unknown radar blips were solid targets. Howard Cocklin concurred with Barnes.

With America involved in a war in Korea, and the constant threat posed by the Soviet Bloc, the extremely high number of UFO related events disturbed the government. There was a feeling that a hostile power could flood the U.S with false UFO reports leaving the nation open to a surprise attack.

So, in January 1953, the Robertson Panel was formed, consisting of leading scientists that spent four days examining the "best" UFO cases collected by Project Blue Book.


+10 more 
posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 07:45 AM
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The Roberston Panel



The Robertson panel dismissed nearly all of the UFO cases it examined as no threat to national security. Controversially they had judged that the Air Force needed to spend less time analyzing UFO reports and more time debunking them. The panel recommended that the Air Force and Project Blue Book should take steps to "...strip the Unidentified Flying Objects of the special status they have been given and the aura of mystery they have unfortunately acquired."

Following the Robertson Panel's report, Project Blue Book would rarely publicize any UFO cases that remained unsolved.

Edward Ruppelt made a great point about the situation by saying:



The Washington National Sightings proved one thing, something that many of us already knew: in order to forestall any more trouble similar to what we'd just been through we always had to get all of the facts and not try to hide them. A great deal of the press's interest was caused by the Air Force's reluctance to give out any information, and the reluctance on the part of the Air Force was caused by simply not having gone out to find the answers.

But had someone gone out and made a more thorough investigation a few big questions would have popped up and taken some of the intrigue out of the two reports. ....



This case harks back, almost, to the dawn of the modern UFO age itself. But it still remains high profile because multiple UFO sightings were confirmed on civilian and military radars. It seems, from this point on, the Government and USAF were more intent on concealing not only what they did know - but also what they didn’t know from the people.

The Washington DC flap was neither a starting point nor an ending point to the UFO sightings during 1952. But it certainly shows that the government and USAF were using a policy of “official denial” towards the UFO issue. It is entirely possible that the government of the day had no idea what they were dealing with and were fearful that they had no control of their airspace. The cover-up being nothing more than a tactic to prevent the public knowing the air force had no means to defend the nation from whatever these “flying saucers” were.

Or perhaps the cover-up went much deeper?




Further Sources & References.
ATS Sources :

FOIA: Washington D.C. Radar Sighted UFO's July 26-27, 1952

The 1952 UFO Wave


A Trip Back To July, 1952, For Those Who Say UFO's/ET Are Not real


The Robertson Panel



Other Sources

RAdm. Herbert B. Knowles, Board of Directors of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), discusses metal fragments from a UFO shot off by USAF jet aircraft during the Washington, D.C. Flap in 1952.

Blue Book Unknowns

NICAP 1952 UFO Sightings

NICAP : Washington National Sightings







posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 08:10 AM
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a reply to: mirageman
Thank you for taking the considerable time and effort to research and post all of this in such detail. I am still working my way through it all and may comment more later on. For now I'll just say that this was a remarkable series of events and it's well worth review and further discussion even after all these years.



posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 08:19 AM
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a reply to: mirageman


...Mainly because I remembered reading the story back when I was kid (even though it was probably a good 25+ years old by then) and I thought it may be time to refresh my memory.


 


dang.... how old are you? over 86-91 ?

I recall the radio news reports...TV wasn't the total coverage it has been since the early 1960s

I learned most of my English from NEWS /Talk radio when living in Grand Haven Michigan 1950-1954
and I distinctly recall the news reports of flying saucers over the US Capitol...my Mother said that they were demons because she was Catholic...thus other world aliens did not exist
but ever since that July 1952 invasion fleet I have believed that UFOs occupants were off world Aliens
despite the sparse newspaper articles which left one with the impression that Alien UFOs were real but different from our fighters
much of the news print was against flying saucers being physical objects or just illusions/misidentified stars/hallucinations, all the typical smoke screen explanations which was SOP for the next several decades of sightings


edit on th30141735817430362014 by St Udio because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 08:28 AM
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originally posted by: St Udio
a reply to: mirageman


...Mainly because I remembered reading the story back when I was kid (even though it was probably a good 25+ years old by then) and I thought it may be time to refresh my memory.


 


dang.... how old are you? over 86-91 ?
I recall the radio news reports...TV wasn't the total coverage it has been since the early 1960s

I learned most of my English from NEWS /Talk radio when living in Grand Haven Michigan 1950-1954
and I distinctly recall the news reports of flying saucers over the US Capitol...my Mother said that they were demons because she was Catholic...thus other world aliens did not exist
but ever since that July 1952 invasion fleet I have believed that UFOs occupants were off world Aliens



LOL! Perhaps I should have phrased that better.

I grew up in the 1970s. What I was trying to say was that I first read about the story around 1977-78 and the Washington sightings were already a quarter of a century old by then.

It's a fascinating story and this time period definitely points to a cover-up. The question is what was being covered up?



posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 08:32 AM
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originally posted by: JustMike
a reply to: mirageman
Thank you for taking the considerable time and effort to research and post all of this in such detail. I am still working my way through it all and may comment more later on. For now I'll just say that this was a remarkable series of events and it's well worth review and further discussion even after all these years.


I'll pop back later as family matters need to be attended to now.

There many more UFO incidents in 1952 leading up to and occurring after the DC sightings. I know radar was still in it's early days and more suspect to atmospheric conditions then but I can't believe this was simply a year of record "temperature inversions"!



posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 08:49 AM
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it's sad that the government/air force would only consider investigating if there was some perceived 'threat' from the ufos. how very human. as for the hastily arranged press conferences, the Fyfe Symington 'alien in handcuffs' press conference fiasco (given during the phoenix lights 'flap') was a more recent example of how much honesty one can expect from the authorities in such cases. that is, none at all.

cool thread. thanks



posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 09:00 AM
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Wonderful thread, Mirageman. Thanks so much for the information. Like others, I have read your thread, but will need more time to go through the links you've posted, as well. Just reading your info, though, I'd say it's unlikely it was temperature inversions, that caused what was seen. I am interested that no one seems to have seen craft but only lights, from a plasma perspective….but I will reserve a final opinion until I"ve read all the links.

Hope everyone had a good holiday, and is doing well.
tetra50



posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 09:04 AM
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Interesting read OP, and a well done thread. Applause for this man staff?

It is my personal opinion that with the exception of maybe a handful, all sightings are terrestrial in origin. Including these. I have pondered the modern UFO phenomena a fair amount, and it seems very convenient that modern UFO sightings really took off after Roswell. It's no secret that a LOT of money gets re-directed to black budget projects, and what better way to muddy the waters when they're sighted by the public, than to take the idea of UFO's and aliens to a whole new level. And at the same time, create just enough taboo around it using the media, that it keeps people from getting too serious about it, for fear of ridicule. Of course, it doesn't hurt to have a few whackos play the jester for everyone to laugh at. Billy Meier comes to mind.

I am not saying this is the only reason for creating/sensationalizing the modern UFO/alien paradigm, but I think it is at least part and parcel of it. I'm also not saying there have been no genuine sightings, but I do believe they are few and far between if so. S&F



posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 09:59 AM
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a reply to: mirageman

Awesome thread mirageman!, Thanks for posting and sharing : )

The objects were definitely not weather anomalies, they were sighted visually by pilots and witnesses on the ground, while similtaneously also seen on radar. Basically, the temperature-inversion explanation was debunked years ago.



Here's more testimony from another witness ...

UFOs over DC! from () on Vimeo.

Link - vimeo.com...
Link - watch.weta.org...



"Barnes then called National Airport's other radar center; the controller there, Howard Cocklin, told Barnes that he also had the objects on his radarscope. Furthermore, Cocklin said that by looking out of the control tower window he could see one of the objects:

"a bright orange light. I can't tell what's behind it."

Link - en.wikipedia.org...




1952 UFO Eyewitness Howard Cocklin
Link - www.youtube.com...





I often wonder ... If "the ufo-subject is classified higher than the H-bomb" is the temp-inversion explanation really a surprise ?

Cheers

edit on 30-11-2014 by easynow because: Aliens



posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 10:16 AM
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a reply to: mirageman

This is an excellent thread. One of my biggest complaints is that many today on ATS have no knowledge of the real history of UFOs and exist in near-total ignorance every aspect of the phenomena. In my estimation, the DC UFO "flap" of 1952 was about as close as we have come to an Orson Wells type of "War of the Worlds" level of mass hysteria.

While this thread quotes several times the words of Capt. Edward Ruppelt from his book The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects his words should not be taken as a true and correct presentation of any aspect of the situation but a sanitized version. I was surprised to find that Al Chop was mentioned as the AF PR man for Blue Book . He was later to be the public voice for NASA.



posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 10:56 AM
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The event is real, but photographs of it are not. It was also not widely witnessed in the sky by civilians, just by pilots and radar operators.
The picture seen upthread and most often associated with it is of lens reflections from lamps at the base of the Capitol.

FOTOCAT's input follows, including two versions of the picture:
Event date: July 19, 1952
Location: Washington, D.C. (USA)
Date information: Non-event (actually dated 1965)
Event is filed as: Lens flares
Time: Between 23:40 and 06:00
Photographer: Unknown
www.nicap.org...


Perhaps first published in Ray Palmer's Flying Saucers in 1973:
www.ufopop.org...

In addition, animated versions of this photo have been seen in a number of UFO shows, such as Unsealed Alien Files, Hangar 1, and Sirius. All fake, and usually not noted as simulations, which creates greater confusion.
edit on 30-11-2014 by CardDown because:
edit on 30-11-2014 by CardDown because: sp
extra DIV



posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 11:00 AM
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Fascinating thread, very well put together. S&F for sure!



posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 11:17 AM
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a reply to: Aliensun

I agree that Mirageman has put together an excellent thread with information currently available. But your posts bring up excellent points we all should consider, and are unfortunate reality of dealing with bluebook, now, I think:



This is an excellent thread. One of my biggest complaints is that many today on ATS have no knowledge of the real history of UFOs and exist in near-total ignorance every aspect of the phenomena. In my estimation, the DC UFO "flap" of 1952 was about as close as we have come to an Orson Wells type of "War of the Worlds" level of mass hysteria.



if we indeed, experienced something like that, it's been scrubbed from our "history," currently, and that's exactly what I would expect. If this has happened, and we are under outside influence of some kind, it's predicated and controlled now, and this includes pics and information flow….the happening, the reactions all predicated. So after that, everything probably, is MILAB…..

Thanks for your comments, as well, as you make the point that other pictures have been substituted, now, for what were real happenings, originally..
tetra



posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 11:51 AM
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originally posted by: Aliensun
a reply to: mirageman

This is an excellent thread. One of my biggest complaints is that many today on ATS have no knowledge of the real history of UFOs and exist in near-total ignorance every aspect of the phenomena. In my estimation, the DC UFO "flap" of 1952 was about as close as we have come to an Orson Wells type of "War of the Worlds" level of mass hysteria.

While this thread quotes several times the words of Capt. Edward Ruppelt from his book The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects his words should not be taken as a true and correct presentation of any aspect of the situation but a sanitized version. I was surprised to find that Al Chop was mentioned as the AF PR man for Blue Book . He was later to be the public voice for NASA.


I'd also add the "Battle of Los Angeles" in 1942. Our anti-aircraft guns fired over 1,400 shells at... something in the skies over California with no effect.

Link



posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 01:52 PM
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a reply to: Klassified

I tend to agree with you that any genuine sightings of "unknown' aerial phenomena are fairly rare. (To qualify that I mean that the phenomena is not simply unknown to the observer but something not explained by science). Now UFOs exist (by the strict definition that they are Unidentified Flying Objects). This does not mean they are craft piloted or controlled by aliens which is a jump of mistaken logic far too many make. The Hessdalen lights are UFOs but are unlikely to be alien.

As to what was going on in 1952 I have no idea. My guess is the US government didn't either but didn't want the public (and it's enemies) thinking that the most powerful military force on the planet could not work out how to defend itself against these strange objects.



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