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Revisiting the 1952 Washington DC UFO Flap

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posted on Dec, 10 2014 @ 01:53 PM
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a reply to: Arbitrageur

Thanks for clarifying your points in a well thought out manner. I don't know anything of the Illinois sighting. Sounds interesting!




I also found it interesting that of all the user names on ATS to make a thread about an incident the Air Force claimed was due to mirages, yours was the one to make this thread!



An excellent observation.




posted on Dec, 12 2014 @ 02:49 AM
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originally posted by: mirageman
I don't know anything of the Illinois sighting. Sounds interesting!
Karl 12 did a nice thread on that here though I missed it at the time, I just found it in a search:

Updated Report on the Illinois Police UFO case, January 5th, 2000

Based on the photograph and other evidence I think we can be pretty sure it wasn't a mirage. I'm not so sure about the 1952 Washington UFO flap.



posted on Dec, 12 2014 @ 05:36 PM
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originally posted by: Arbitrageur

originally posted by: mirageman
I don't know anything of the Illinois sighting. Sounds interesting!
Karl 12 did a nice thread on that here though I missed it at the time, I just found it in a search:

Updated Report on the Illinois Police UFO case, January 5th, 2000

Based on the photograph and other evidence I think we can be pretty sure it wasn't a mirage. I'm not so sure about the 1952 Washington UFO flap.


Really? Even though the OP outlined the Washington UFO incident occurred over several days and was witnessed by multiple witnesses that confirmed and coincided with multiple radar images, again over several days, you're not sure they weren't just mirages? Did you actually read the OP's posts?

Did you know that disinformation agents will often try to get the last word in on a topic online, debunking of course, so that people new to the thread and coming to the end of it for the first time will first encounter insidious social engineering?



posted on Dec, 13 2014 @ 11:10 AM
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a reply to: PlanetXisHERE


Did you know that disinformation agents will often try to get the last word in on a topic online


I swear I never heard that before. I just thought it was because I drink too much coffee



posted on Dec, 13 2014 @ 11:50 AM
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originally posted by: PlanetXisHERE
Really? Even though the OP outlined the Washington UFO incident occurred over several days and was witnessed by multiple witnesses that confirmed and coincided with multiple radar images, again over several days, you're not sure they weren't just mirages?
The evidence doesn't support that conclusion in my opinion. The steamboat wasn't even a flying object.

And you're right it wasn't the only object tracked on radar, there were other "confirmations" like this:

en.wikipedia.org...

Air Force Captain Harold May was in the radar center at Andrews AFB during the sightings of July 19–20. Upon hearing that National Airport's radar had picked up an unknown object heading in his direction, May stepped outside and saw "a light that was changing from red to orange to green to red again...at times it dipped suddenly and appeared to lose altitude." However, May eventually concluded that he was simply seeing a star that was distorted by the atmosphere, and that its "movement" was an illusion.[26]
Everyone seems to agree that there were unusual atmospheric conditions at the time of the events and that is a perfect example of how misleading "confirmations" were reported. He saw a moving star, due to the unusual atmospheric conditions, and stars don't normally move.

So yes I read the entire OP and based on my research of mirages I've concluded that 99% of the general population and 99% of pilots don't understand mirages very well, so I take that into account when they say something wasn't caused by a mirage. How can they know that when they don't understand the phenomenon? Well perhaps Air Force Captain Harold May figured it out, but I think many others didn't, that the so called "correlations" you and the OP posts speak of were anything but.



posted on Dec, 13 2014 @ 12:39 PM
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There's a great book

www.amazon.com...

By Frank Feschino, that sheds some interesting light on the entire 1952 Washington flybys and subsequent AF interest.

Having some pilots including military ones as close friends, I can definitely assure you that pilots are probably the most alert, cognitive and observant people I ever met. They are very well versed in celestial maps and know exactly when and where to see any celestial bodies and how to interpret them. They also are probably the most trusted witnesses as they report exactly what they see. It's in their job to be able to observe and judge other aerial objects and phenomena - for the safety of their own craft and mission.

They are also very amazed and amused when people who are not pilots try to tell them what they see or what they interpret.
It's not to say that they cannot be fooled by unusual weather conditions - sometimes it happens. Yet they are prepared for such scenarios too.



posted on Dec, 13 2014 @ 01:12 PM
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originally posted by: Jelonek
Having some pilots including military ones as close friends, I can definitely assure you that pilots are probably the most alert, cognitive and observant people I ever met. They are very well versed in celestial maps and know exactly when and where to see any celestial bodies and how to interpret them. They also are probably the most trusted witnesses as they report exactly what they see.
The professional astronomer who came to believe that some UFOs had an other-worldly origin probably investigated more UFO cases than any other person ever came to the opposite conclusion, that pilots were among the least reliable UFO witnesses, and he published the relevant statistics in his book:

www.nbcnews.com...

One of the world’s first genuine UFO investigators, Allen Hynek of Northwestern University, came to believe that some encounters really could have otherworldly causes. But he was much more skeptical about the reliability of pilot testimony. "Surprisingly, commercial and military pilots appear to make relatively poor witnesses," he wrote in "The Hynek UFO Report."

Hynek found that the best class of witnesses had a 50 percent misperception rate, but that pilots had a much higher rate: 88 percent for military pilots, 89 percent for commercial pilots, the worst of all categories listed. Pilots could be counted on for an accurate identification of familiar objects — such as aircraft and ground structures — but Hynek said "it should come as no surprise that the majority of pilot misidentifications were of astronomical objects."
Don't you agree that 88% and 89% misperception rates are rather high? Now maybe your anecdotes relate to the 11-12% who aren't making misperceptions, but even so statistically the odds of pilots making misperceptions is relatively high. Look at the example cited in the case of this 1952 incident, where the wingman saw multiple UFOs and the lead pilot saw none.

www.abovetopsecret.com...

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.


It's hard to rationalize this discrepancy, unless at least one of them had misperception issues.



posted on Dec, 13 2014 @ 04:38 PM
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a reply to: Arbitrageur

I have been unable to find any specific statistics or methodology of Hynek's study on pilot mis-perceptions beyond the percentages often quoted.

Do you have a link to his source data?

I would need to know how many (and which) sightings were considered, how he sifted through the data and how he reached his conclusion before accepting this on face value.



posted on Dec, 13 2014 @ 04:53 PM
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I can only speak about what I was told by pilots that I know.

I don't know how it is in the U.S. but in Poland pilots are taught almost everything they can be taught about sky, including night sky and celestial bodies.

As to Hynek's findings - I haven't read his book but I do wonder what figures does he operate on. What was his sample? 100? 1000? It is relevant because unless he's got all aerial reports taken into account here, we can only say that he reports the 88-89% of his sample having misperceptions - that sample being, for example, a 40% of all reports.

It is also important to note that many reports, especially by the military pilots, are not published in any way. Pilots that I do know and who flew MiG-21s and MiG-29s along with couple other aircraft had some sightings of unidentified flying objects and they were hard to be classified as misperceptions, especially when they were seen by their wingmen or reported on radar (either briefly or permanently) and yet all of them never spoke about that apart from some casual mentions to friends - from fear of ridicule. They also had quite a lot of situations where they observed phenomena that couldn't be definitely classified as UFOs but were certainly weird - the nature, sky included, has its strange moments.



posted on Dec, 14 2014 @ 12:06 AM
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originally posted by: Jelonek

It is also important to note that many reports, especially by the military pilots, are not published in any way. Pilots that I do know and who flew MiG-21s and MiG-29s along with couple other aircraft had some sightings of unidentified flying objects and they were hard to be classified as misperceptions, especially when they were seen by their wingmen or reported on radar (either briefly or permanently) and yet all of them never spoke about that apart from some casual mentions to friends - from fear of ridicule. They also had quite a lot of situations where they observed phenomena that couldn't be definitely classified as UFOs but were certainly weird - the nature, sky included, has its strange moments.



Would it be possible for more details? Its not often one gets to hear about UFO stuff behind the iron curtain.



posted on Dec, 14 2014 @ 09:13 AM
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There you go - one case from 1968-9.

One day, during autumn of 1968 (or 1969? the witness does not remember it well) a military pilot, named A...let's call him "Andrew" for the sake of this report, was performing a training flight with his partner in 2 MiG's 21 above the Modlin military airport.
The hour was 8 pm, the sky was good and calm with low amounts of clouds.
Since the training was performed at a ceiling not exceeding 1000m, the MiGs reached a height of 800m and continued from there. Planned training required the pilots to perform several routes in the air corridors above and near the Modlin airport.
Both MiGs contacted the tower to report flight parameters. Flight speed was not exceeding 800km/h and distance between two MiGs was about 80m.
Suddenly, "Andrew" found out that there was a very bright light at his left side. Before he could make anything of it, he was confronted with a sight of two disc-shaped, white objects that were apaprently flying in the same direction as him. They were rapidly closing the distance and suddenly they were no more than 10-15 metres from the left side of his aircraft.
Looking ath these craft, "Andrew" noticed that the disks were uniform in color and emanated an intense but not blinding white light. He estimated their size at 2-3metres in diameter.
After a short while, "Andrew" called his wingman to notify him of this occurence...only to receive information that his friend was having exactly the same looking discs at his right size. So basically the two MiGs were flying surrounded by glowing discs from left and right .

The situation began to deteriorate because both pilots began to feel anxious. As "Andrew" recalled later, he was wondering whether they were witnessing NATO's secret craft, and to make matters worse they both began to lose radio communication and there was apparently some interference with onboard instruments as well. "Andrew" considered firing at the discs, either from onboard cannon or using his 2 A2A missiles, but the close distance to the objects and suddenness of the situation prevented him from taking any immediate action. Even though he admitted much later that he would fire if ordered by the tower to do so. Anyway, he did not get any report on onboard radar so he was even more puzzled.

Before both pilots had time to decide what to do, the joint "flyover" with the discs was at an end. "Andrew" estimated that the discs were flying along with them at a distance between 5 to 10 kilometres. Suddenly all four of them rapidly accelerated in the same direction as the MiGs were flying in and quickly got out of sight. "Andrew" was stunned less because of their acceleration and more because of no sonic boom and no air turbulence. It was as if the discs were ignoring the laws of physics.

The entire observation took about 5 minutes during a 15-minute flight. Badly shocked, "Andrew" and his friend both reported back to the tower and ended the training session. A few minutes later they touched down on the runway.

And - shock of shocks - both pilots decided not to tell about it to anyone in the military. What was even worse, they got scolded by their superiors for apparent "deliberate cutting off the radio contact with the tower" during their flight. There was some talk about court martial and punishment due to their apparent attempt to defect to Sweden (that was how their experience was interpreted), but luckily they got away with it.

Or did they? "Andrew" was sure he witnessed craft under intelligent control, the same was said by his colleague. But what it was, they don't know, and probably never will.

I have quite some cases like this. All of them by military pilots.

And tons upon tons of anecdotes from them.
edit on 14-12-2014 by Jelonek because:



posted on Dec, 14 2014 @ 04:47 PM
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a reply to: Jelonek

That is an interesting story Jelonek. It also suggests that something was going on in the skies of the Warsaw Pact nations back in those days.




I have quite some cases like this. All of them by military pilots. And tons upon tons of anecdotes from them.



This site tends to be naturally dominated by the major English speaking nations (USA/Canada/Britain/Ireland/Australia/New Zealand) so we don't get many stories from guys who were once behind the Iron Curtain.

Would you be able to write up a full post on some of these 'anecdotes from Polish military pilots'?



posted on Dec, 15 2014 @ 02:44 AM
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originally posted by: mirageman
a reply to: Arbitrageur

I have been unable to find any specific statistics or methodology of Hynek's study on pilot mis-perceptions beyond the percentages often quoted.

Do you have a link to his source data?
The statistics he provides on pilot misperception rates is on page 272 of his book. On page 263 he explains that he and a member of the staff of the center for UFO studies re-evaluated all the project bluebook cases (13,134 cases were reported to the Air Force, but only 10,675 had sufficient information to investigate so that was apparently his sample size). By this time as you probably know, Hynek was very critical of Air Force efforts to debunk UFO sightings and he says so in this section of the book, so he did not accept the Air Force conclusions for those 10,675 cases, though he did for some. In many others, he came to different conclusions than the Air force did, especially in cases where he thought the explanations were force-fit debunks.

All the project blue book cases are a matter of public record. He of course doesn't give his entire database of his own re-evaluations in his book but he arrives at a figure of 5.8% of those 10,675 cases remaining "unidentified" even after his reexamination, after leaving Blue Book and starting the Center for UFO studies.

This 5.8% figure is also pretty close to the 5% figure I've seen MUFON cite as their estimate of the number of UFO reports that remain unidentified after sufficient information is provided and a thorough investigation is conducted, so that 5.8% figure would not be contentious according to the UFO folks at MUFON, nor to Bill Birnes who published UFO magazine and also cited a 5% estimated figure for this.


originally posted by: Jelonek
I can only speak about what I was told by pilots that I know.

I don't know how it is in the U.S. but in Poland pilots are taught almost everything they can be taught about sky, including night sky and celestial bodies.
Astronomers take many years to learn what they know about astronomical objects. Surely your claim that pilots get this same information in whatever limited training they receive doesn't stand up to any critical thinking or scrutiny.


edit on 15-12-2014 by Arbitrageur because: clarification



posted on Dec, 16 2014 @ 08:19 AM
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originally posted by: ZetaRediculian
a reply to: PlanetXisHERE


Did you know that disinformation agents will often try to get the last word in on a topic online


I swear I never heard that before. I just thought it was because I drink too much coffee


Come on, you knew that, it is SOP.


To the poster speaking about mirages - sure, I believe that may be the explanation in some cases. But not in this one, did you see the video I posted earlier in this thread on President Truman talking about this phenomenon? You don't think he double checked with all his science advisers first to see if some alternate explanation existed? Or that Time Life, the premier News organization of the World at the time, would have put this on their cover, soon after this incident?




posted on Dec, 16 2014 @ 09:21 AM
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a reply to: Arbitrageur

One thing is me comparing pilots to astronomers. That didn't happen.
The other thing is pilots being schooled in mechanics of the sky and stars. Thay ahve to know it both for navigation and orientation purposes.

Surely pilots are not taught about celestial objects in the same manners as astronomers are, because the latter need their knowledge for other purposes than navigation and orientation in atmosphere (especially in difficult conditions).
That still doesn't make the pilots unable to understand these things or even worse, misinterpreting them as UFOs.

So...care to tell me how that doesn't stand up to "any critical thinking and scrutiny"?
Because for me, you're just seeing one side of the coin here. And failing to provide any arguments au contraire save for "astronomers know better than pilots". Yeah, because they too fly several thousand hours in extremely mixed weather conditions at different altitudes in fast-moving craft instead of static observation of celestial bodies. That makes perfect sense.



posted on Dec, 16 2014 @ 04:43 PM
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a reply to: Arbitrageur

Thanks for putting out the information on here. I am not sure it conclusively proves or disproves anything on this case. But I do think it's important every piece of information should be considered. I will be a bit busy for the next couple of days but Isaac Koi's Thread on RARE microfilms specifically refers to this case.

So if you or anyone else has the time to give the documents referring to this case a glance then please let us know.



posted on Dec, 16 2014 @ 04:50 PM
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a reply to: PlanetXisHERE



Just to slightly correct you. "Life" magazine published the specific edition in April of 1952. A good few months before the DC sightings.

The Full Life Article "Have We Visitors from Space" can be viewed by clicking here.



posted on Dec, 16 2014 @ 11:11 PM
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This is one of my favorite UFO cases ever.



posted on Dec, 16 2014 @ 11:44 PM
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According to William Cooper, in this video at 18:00, he described the situation when the first EBE held in captivity died. It was mid 1952. That would be July 1952 and the same month as the Washington D.C. UFO flap.




posted on Dec, 17 2014 @ 03:14 PM
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a reply to: SayonaraJupiter

Well joining the dots from your post I guess you are suggesting the possibility that the Washington events were some kind of alien activity. Such a story would rely on a lot of other unproven possibilities being true and also the reliability of Bill Cooper. He had a rather chequered history.

It is probably the extreme polar opposite of Arbitrageur's point that the official explanation fits the story well and that the radar was picking up ground based targets due to the weather conditions.



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