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The Maury Island Mystery – UFO? Hoax? Or Something Else?

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posted on Jun, 21 2017 @ 04:38 PM
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With June 24th 1947 marking the 70th anniversary of the modern UFO era it’s perhaps a little too obvious creating a thread about Kenneth Arnold’s sighting, Roswell or the UFO wave that followed in that summer so long ago. I’m sure they will be picked up in one way or another anyway.

Perhaps lesser known is that Kenneth Arnold also features in another 1947 UFO story ‘celebrating’ a 70th anniversary today. It is one that involves arguably the first “man in black” story, conspiracy stories of how a military B-25 was downed to withold evidence, real human tragedy and a particularly interesting character in Fred Crisman (who seems to have had his finger in a lot of pies including the JFK assassination).

The mystery involves flying saucer sightings near Maury Island and claims made by two men Fred Crisman and Harold Dahl from Tacoma, Washington State, USA.

Crisman and Dahl owned a coastal boat used to salvage logs that had accidentally slipped into the waters of Puget Sound from nearby logging mills. At around 2pm on June 21st 1947, while patrolling near to the Shore of Maury Island , Dahl reported seeing doughnut-shaped UFOs that began spewing a strange mix of what appeared to be lava and a lightweight metal onto the boat. Dahl’s dog was killed, Dahl’s son was injured and the boat damaged from this strange event. Dahl claimed to have taken photographs of the craft and handed his camera to Crisman to have the pictures developed.



Next day Dahl was approached by a “man in black” and told to remain silent on what had happened. Dahl was informed he was not meant to have seen the ‘flying saucers’ and warned that he placed both himself and his family in peril if he should talk. Also on June 22nd, 1947, Fred Crisman decided he would go out to Maury Island to investigate Dahl’s claims. There scattered around the island’s shoreline he discovered a mass of ‘debris’.

Kenneth Arnold Investigates
Some three or four weeks later, in the second half of July 1947, Dahl and Crisman sent a letter and pieces of the debris to Ray Palmer, the editor of various publications including Amazing Stories based in Chicago. Palmer was immediately interested in Dahl’s story and contacted Kenneth Arnold ,who he had spoken to over his own strange sighting, in the Pacific Northwest near Mount Rainier in the Cascade Mountains. Arnold agreed to travel to Tacoma and investigate.

On July 29th 1947 Kenneth Arnold travelled to meet with Harold Dahl in Tacoma and booked into the Winthrop Hotel (pictured). After contacting Dahl Arnold found he was very reluctant to speak after his earlier encounter with the strange ‘man in black’. But later that same night Harold Dahl agreed to drive Arnold to his ‘secretary’s’ home and show him some of the debris.

Arnold inspected the boat and observed that the supposed pieces of debris from the UFO Dahl presented looked remarkably like lava rock. Dahl insisted this was what had damaged his boat but could not produce any of the photographs he was supposed to have taken.
He also bizarrely mentioned how his teenage son had vanished. Arnold felt he was being manipulated and called in Capt. E.J. Smith, a friend, and a long time professional civilian pilot.

On July 30th Dahl arrived at Arnold’s hotel with Fred Crisman. Crisman backed up Dahl’s claims by explaining he had gone out the next day and noticed the shoreline covered with debris. He also claimed to have seen a strange object above him in the sky.

After hearing the stories from the pair, Arnold and Smith decided their involvement with Dahl and Crisman was becoming risky. They could be hoaxers, or worse still, some kind of Soviet espionage may even be involved. Arnold decided to call up Lt. Frank Brown and Captain William (Lee) Davidson, intelligence officers who had interviewed Arnold previously and advised him to contact them should anything unusual arise.

On July 31st 1947, Lt. Brown and Captain Davidson arrived in Tacoma. They proceeded to interview Crisman and Dahl who had brought various fragments but no photographs with them. They also spoke with Arnold and Smith in their hotel room.

In the evening Arnold received a telephone call from Tacoma Times reporter, Ted Morello. Morello said that an anonymous informant had told him about the conversation between the intelligence officers, Crisman, Dahl, Smith and himself. Arnold felt more confused about the situation than ever at this point and suspected the room had been bugged without ever being able to find one.

continues below >>>


edit on 21/6/17 by mirageman because: tidy up




posted on Jun, 21 2017 @ 04:38 PM
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Tragedy and Conspiracy
As the day was ‘Air Force Day’, marking the official separation from the US Army, the two officers left on an early morning flight on August 1st 1947 along with some of the debris that Dahl had collected. Captain Davidson took off at 2:00 AM, with Brown alongside him in the cockpit as co-pilot. Two other crewmen accompanied them. At 2:50 AM, their B-25 plane caught fire and crashed near Kelso, Washington. The two crewmen were able to escape by parachute. Sadly Brown and Davidson both perished in the crash. Becoming the United States Air Force’s first ever casualties.

Then followed the sensational rumours that the plane had been shot down by anti-aircraft fire.

Local newspapers and even the FBI received phone calls stating that the aircraft had been shot down to conceal the top secret information Brown and Davidson had uncovered about a “Flying Disc”.

Air Force investigators determined this was a fatal accident. One of the B-25 engines had caught fire and the men tried to bail out.
The crewmen were successful. However before Brown and Davidson could jump out, a wing broke and struck the tail section, breaking that off as well. The plane went into an uncontrollable spin, trapping the men inside.

In the Tacoma Times the headline read “Sabotage Hinted in Crash of Army Bomber at Kelso “and a sub-headline read “Plane May Hold Flying Disk Secret”.

The article by Paul Lance stated the plane had been sabotaged and shot down in an effort to stop flying disk fragments reaching Hamilton Field, California, for analysis. “The disk parts were said by the informant to be those from one of the mysterious platters which plunged to earth on the Maury Island recently...

Leading substance to the caller¹s theory is the fact that twelve hours before the Army released official identification; the informant correctly identified the dead in the crash to be Capt. William L. Davidson and 1st Lt. Frank M. Brown”.

The article also stated that an intelligence officer at McChord field confirmed the informants report that the B-25 Bomber had been carrying classified material. Arnold and Smith made a brief visit to see Paul Lance at the Tacoma Times who warned them to leave town as they had become entangled in something which was beyond their power to find anything about.

But before they did leave they went to inspect Dahl and Crisman’s boat. Crisman was still claiming he could not locate the photographs of the UFOs Dahl had taken.

On August 3rd Smith contacted McChord field and spoke with Major Sander ,another intelligence officer. He arrived and stated that he firmly believed this was all a hoax but still removed the debris in Smith and Arnold’s possession anyway. Arnold and Smith tried to contact Dahl to no avail and so checked out of the Winthrop Hotel to return home.

On August 7th 1947 the Seattle Office of the FBI interviewed Crisman and Dahl announcing that the whole affair had been a hoax. The FBI also warned Dahl and Crisman that their hoax had failed and they should drop the matter. If they did so the government would not prosecute the two men for a fraud which had cost the lives of two military officers.

FBI Investigations
The FBI file judges the matter as a hoax, but carefully notes that Dahl “did not admit that his story was a hoax but only stated that if questioned by the authorities he was going to say it was a hoax because he did not want any further trouble over the matter.


At first Dahl and Crisman agreed with statements that the story was hoaxed, refusing to give further interviews on the matter. Dahl then seemingly disappeared. Crisman was recalled to military service being suddenly sent to Alaska. Paul Lance of the Tacoma Times who had published the story of the B-25 containing parts of a flying disc died within two weeks of undetermined cause.

Kenneth Arnold flew home but not without incident. He stopped for fuel in Pendleton, Oregon, and shortly after taking off again, his engine froze in mid-air. Fortunately he managed to land the plane safely.

The memo above was written the same day of another memo stating that Dahl did not admit the matter was a hoax.
However a further memo states that both Dahl and Crisman admitted there were no discs. They had collected some odd rock formations from a gravel pit and sent a cigar box of them to Ray Palmer. Dahl wrote a false letter claiming the material came from a flying disc, and that they had then been paid to say as much.

On Aug 19th 1947 another memo issued for the Director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover complicates the story slightly. According to this memo, the officers aboard the crashed plane had met with Dahl and Crisman to discuss the “flying discs” story and had taken a sample of the disc fragments.


Despite the case fizzling out to nothing, a few years later in the January 1950 issue of Fate magazine, Crisman was back claiming that the incident had really happened and called the hoax allegations a "bald-faced lie.. “. In 1952 Kenneth Arnold included the Maury Island story in his book The Coming of the Saucers seemingly not convinced it was all a hoax.

The Air Force denied any responsibility for the sightings and made it clear there were no credible reports of “flying discs” in the area. The FBI’s own investigation concurred; confirming that the plane “was definitely not carrying parts of a disc.”


The memo above was written the same day of another memo stating that Dahl did not admit the matter was a hoax.
However a further memo states that both Dahl and Crisman admitted there were no discs. They had collected some odd rock formations from a gravel pit and sent a cigar box of them to Ray Palmer. Dahl wrote a false letter claiming the material came from a flying disc, and that they had then been paid to say as much.


On Aug 19th 1947 another memo issued for the Director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover complicates the story slightly. According to this memo, the officers aboard the crashed plane had met with Dahl and Crisman to discuss the “flying discs” story and had taken a sample of the disc fragments.


The FBI continued to interview various individuals, and eventually concluded that the strange rocks/disc fragments bore a distinct resemblance to slag from a smelter.

Today, most people believe that Crisman and Dahl faked the incident, perpetuating a hoax that got out of control and it all stopped once the authorities stepped in.

However a few people believe that the U.S. Government was behind a conspiracy that may have involved anything from UFOs, to dumping nuclear waste in Puget Sound. They believe a shadow government agency sabotaged the B-25 bomber in order to eliminate the investigators and blame Dahl and Crisman.

Could the latter be true?

continues below >>>

edit on 21/6/17 by mirageman because: tidy up



posted on Jun, 21 2017 @ 04:38 PM
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The Crisman Factor
One very odd character in all of this is Fred Crisman. Not only was he involved in the Maury Island incident there are numerous strange events involving him:

* Crisman worked for the OSS during WWII

* Later in the 1940s Crisman made claims that he was injured in WWII in Burma by a laser weapon fired by super robots from beneath the earth. The creatures he encountered were subterranean-dwelling "Deros," or "detrimental robots." as he called them.

* Crisman has been linked to Project Paperclip

* Crisman agitated to bring down the Mayor and many of the City Council of Tacoma in the early 1970s.

* Crisman was possibly disguised as a vagrant and taken into custody, or was a radio operator on the "grassy knoll" (is there any other grassy knoll in history?) in Dallas on the day of the JFK assassination. Although other reports say Crisman was not in Dallas that day. Crisman was also supposedly the first person called by Clay Shaw after Shaw's arrest and was also subpoenaed by Jim Garrison. Both in relation to the JFK assassination inquiries.

* Crisman died in 1975 (aged just 56) with his very strange history as his legacy.

Conclusions

Maury Island seems to be case closed as a UFO case. You have the perpetrators actually admitting to it in pursuit of selling a magazine story. At least on the surface that’s all it appears to have been .But maybe it provided a template for the next 70 years (or at least 50 years) to the boys from the intel services.

* You have a UFO story that seems to be a hoax. Although the metallic debris falling from the UFO sounds similar to the reports coming out of the Foster Ranch in early July 1947.

* There are mentions of a ‘Man in Black’ character warning a witness not to speak.

* You have conspiracies leaking out that the B-25 was shot down to cover-up a top secret investigation. Who leaked the details to the press about the crashed B-25 and stories of it being shot down? Who bugged Arnold’s room?

Then you have Fred Crisman who just might have been the right man in the right place at the right time to be controlling the UFO story if he really was working as some sort of ‘agitator’ for the military intelligence services.

Although the incident supposedly took place on June 21st ,pre-dating Arnold’s sighting by a few days and Roswell by almost two weeks, it was not made public until after both events and many other sightings in the summer of ’47. Perhaps the Maury Island Mystery is more to do with a diversion or ‘look over there’ moment to divert attention away from something else?

What that may have been? I don’t know.

Any insights, corrections, further information or general comments are welcomed.






Resources and Further Reading
=============================

Agent Wilcox FBI Report

www.crystalinks.com...

www.nwlegendsmuseum.com...

UFOs and the National Secuity State – Richard Dolan




edit on 21/6/17 by mirageman because: tidy up



posted on Jun, 21 2017 @ 04:58 PM
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a reply to: mirageman

Wow, great story! This is what ATS is all about...thank you.

This Crisman character is fascinating, he would make a great character for a novel.

I wonder if he was inserted as a kind of handler?



posted on Jun, 21 2017 @ 05:16 PM
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a reply to: BlueJacket

There seems to be a whole lot more to Crisman that is was beyond the scope of the OP. Although you never know what people will come up with if the thread develops.



posted on Jun, 21 2017 @ 05:30 PM
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S&F.



posted on Jun, 21 2017 @ 05:52 PM
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The Fred Chrisman part is interesting. I had noted this story years ago, but somehow missed Chrisman's connection to other suspicious events.

Thanks. S&F

VF



posted on Jun, 21 2017 @ 06:00 PM
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One thing to consider is that Maury Island is only about 2.5 miles from Seatac Airport (Built in 1944)- any sightings of objects in the sky were most likely airplanes or birds. So, perhaps the guys did see something and just embellished their story to gain attention.



posted on Jun, 21 2017 @ 06:35 PM
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Instead of complaining about ATS isn't what it was used to be.

You made the type of thread that brought us all here.

There were saucers seen all over the Country the week before Roswell.

I would love to see that data compiled.

S&F



posted on Jun, 21 2017 @ 07:56 PM
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originally posted by: mirageman
The FBI also warned Dahl and Crisman that their hoax had failed and they should drop the matter. If they did so the government would not prosecute the two men for a fraud which had cost the lives of two military officers.
It's sad that two men died unnecessarily over this hoax.

I doubt a criminal prosecution would have succeeded as they had no intent to kill, however civil court standards are much more lenient than criminal court standards and had the surviving family members brought civil suits the men could have been ordered to pay restitution to the families.

You did a great job explaining the case mirageman, much better than the thread on jkrog's index, this one:

Maury Island incident
In that thread someone mentioned something about a movie. I haven't seen it but the case does have good conspiracy angles which could be spun for a movie.



posted on Jun, 21 2017 @ 08:14 PM
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a reply to: Arbitrageur

if it were a hoax, I would think they would have been prosecuted since two men died. seems to me that given they were not prosecuted, the military just wanted this story to disappear quickly. probably not a hoax.



posted on Jun, 21 2017 @ 08:30 PM
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originally posted by: milano
a reply to: Arbitrageur

if it were a hoax, I would think they would have been prosecuted since two men died. seems to me that given they were not prosecuted, the military just wanted this story to disappear quickly. probably not a hoax.
Exactly! Must be at least something to it. Crazy all the way around, and beyond intriguing.

I'm hoping some of our brilliant memers have more to add.



posted on Jun, 21 2017 @ 08:54 PM
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a reply to: whyamIhere

Do you have any actual thoughts on the matter?
People like you bore me not to mention hinder conversations... based on ignorance...great effort have fun in grammies basement
edit on 21-6-2017 by BlueJacket because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 21 2017 @ 10:12 PM
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originally posted by: milano
a reply to: Arbitrageur

if it were a hoax, I would think they would have been prosecuted since two men died. seems to me that given they were not prosecuted, the military just wanted this story to disappear quickly. probably not a hoax.
It's like you didn't understand my post at all. You can't be prosecuted just because two people die, you have to commit some kind of crime. What crime do you think they would be charged with and how would they prove it?

Anyway years later when things died down the truth came out, well investigators already knew it but Dahl admitted it when his wife threatened him if he didn't tell the truth.

books.google.com...



posted on Jun, 21 2017 @ 10:35 PM
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originally posted by: Illumimasontruth

originally posted by: milano
a reply to: Arbitrageur

if it were a hoax, I would think they would have been prosecuted since two men died. seems to me that given they were not prosecuted, the military just wanted this story to disappear quickly. probably not a hoax.
Exactly! Must be at least something to it. Crazy all the way around, and beyond intriguing.

I'm hoping some of our brilliant memers have more to add.


I wonder about this line of thinking. It seems to me that any defense attorney worth his salt could just make the claim that these men had nothing to do with the aircraft going down. If it wasn't sabotage (which is a whole other can of worms), then the claim could just be "This was a military aircraft. They fly all over all the time. If it hadn't been flying here, it would have been flying on another mission of some sort somewhere else. It would have crashed on that mission if the cause of the crash was indeed mechanical, so there is no way to hold my clients responsible. It would have crashed regardless of where it was flying." or something similar.
Interesting thread-I can see a lot of reading tonight to catch up on Dahl and Chrisman.



posted on Jun, 22 2017 @ 03:47 AM
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One of the more interesing aspects to the Maury Island case is that one of the FBI's investigators was Guy Banister. Yes, *that* Guy Banister.
edit on 22-6-2017 by audubon because: typo



posted on Jun, 22 2017 @ 07:12 AM
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a reply to: mirageman
Crisman worked in Paperclip, has ties to intelligence and JFK, then he was most likely an MK. He was also the only one who knew Dahl's story, and being on the inside he would have been the one to alert the "man in black" who to speak to. Dahl also gave the photographs to Crisman and they magically disappear? What became of that?

Crisman also could have been the informant. Maybe he knew the reporter would leak, providing a delay while he sabotaged their plane...?



posted on Jun, 22 2017 @ 01:36 PM
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originally posted by: whyamIhere
Instead of complaining about ATS isn't what it was used to be.

You made the type of thread that brought us all here.

There were saucers seen all over the Country the week before Roswell.

I would love to see that data compiled.

S&F



The data was compiled in a special report Report on the UFO Wave of 1947 by Ted Bleacher by Ted Bleacher in 1968 . Although you may be surprised of the treatment of the Roswell story in that document!






posted on Jun, 22 2017 @ 01:46 PM
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a reply to: Arbitrageur

I doubt there were any grounds for prosecuting the men for the cause of deaths of the two Air Force intelligence officers. .Unless Crisman or Dahl had tampered with the aircraft.

Even bringing a case of fraud against them would be difficult. Very few people were involved at all. What seems to maybe have been at play was they were being coerced into saying it was all a fraud for whatever reason the FBI had.

And there is a movie about the incident see : www.mauryislandincident.com...

Although I cannot endorse it as I haven't seen it. Might wait 'til it's on Netflix!



posted on Jun, 22 2017 @ 01:48 PM
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originally posted by: audubon
One of the more interesing aspects to the Maury Island case is that one of the FBI's investigators was Guy Banister. Yes, *that* Guy Banister.


That is interesting!



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