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Aircraft took off at 2322 Zebra 23 Nov 53 on an active Air Defense Mission to intercept an unknown aircraft approximately 160 miles Northwest of Kinross Air Force Base. The aircraft was under radar control throughout the interception. At approximately 2352 Zebra the last radio contact was made by the radar station controlling the interception. At approximately 2355 Zebra the unknown aircraft and the F-89 merged together on the radar scope. Shortly thereafter the IFF signal disappeared from the radar scope. No further contact was established with the F-89. < Approximately 16 characters followed by one whole line (of approx. 83 characters including spaces) excised > An extensive aerial search has revealed no trace of the aircraft. The aircraft and its crew is still missing.
The unknown aircraft being intercepted was a Royal Canadian Air Force Dakota (C-47), Serial No. VC-912, flying from Winnipeg to Sudbury, Canada. At the time of interception, it was crossing Northern lake Superior from west to east at 7,000 feet.
The pilot and radar observer were assigned to the 433rd Fighter-interceptor Squadron, Truax AFB, Wisconsin. They were on temporary duty at Kinross AFB, Michigan, while the base’s regularly assigned personnel were firing gunnery at Yuma, Arizona. The pilot had a total of 811:00 hours of which 121:40 hours were in F-89 type aircraft. He had 101:00 instrument hours and 91:50 hours night time. The radar observer had a total of 206:45 hours of which 11:30 hours were at night.
Search for the missing aircraft was conducted by both USAF and RCAF aircraft without success. Although 80 per cent area coverage was reported, heavy snows precluded effective land search. All civilian reports of seeing or hearing the aircraft were investigated with negative results.
"Thank you for your letter of April 4 requesting information regarding an 'Unidentified Flying Object' on November 23, 1953.
"A check of Royal Canadian Air Force records has revealed no report of an incident involving an RCAF aircraft in the Lake Superior area on the above date." (Flight Lt. C. F. Page, for Chief of the Air Staff, RCAF, to Jon Mikulich, 4-14-61).
Note that the map shown…. ((above) shows the
correct and incorrect) location for the site where the F-89 disappeared over
Lake Superior. It seems that an earlier investigator misread the
geographical coordinates for this site "48 00 N 86 49 W" as "45
00 N 86 49 W". The coordinates "4800N 8649W" appear in telexes
and the RCAF Search and Rescue Report that are in the USAF
Accident Report files from the incident. This location over
Canadian waters of Lake Superior is also the location where
433rd FIS Base Commander Lt. Col. Harry Shoup is pointing to in
a photograph that was published in the Madison, Wisconsin
newspaper the day after the F-89 was lost over Lake Superior.
The weather conditions existing over eastern Lake Superior at the time contact was lost with the missing F89, was forecast to be the following. A generally solid deck of Stratocumulus base from 2-3000 and top at 6-7000 feet. A broken Altostratus layer, base 10,000 to 14-15000 feet. The visibility was generally 10-12 miles falling to 1-2 miles in isolated snow showers. The freezing level was at the surface to the west, rising to 800 - 1000 feet in the east. Analysis of the Sault Ste Marie Radio Sonde Run for 2100Z (1600E) indicates that moderate to heavy icing could occur from the cloud base to 7000 feet. The air was quite stable and rime ice should have predominated. No turbulence or other hazard would have been encountered. The winds were light south-easterly at the surface shifting to west aloft.
"....I'd like to fill in the gaps in the UFO "anomoly" incident over Lake Superior in 1953. I was stationed in Battle Creek Michigan at a radar AC&W (Air Craft Control and Warning) and was on duty when the incident took place. When we were notified of the "bogey" to the north of us, we increased our radar range. We spotted the target, which was stationary (suddenly a plane seems more unlikely, if this account is correct and legit), by a bright blip on the screen over the east end of the lake. Two F-89"C" interceptors were heading west from Kinross AFB. One of the F-89's had to abort the flight because of mechanical problems. The pilot, aborting, asked the other pilot if he wanted to return home or wait for another wingman. He (Moncla) said "Negative" to both and continued to intercept. I was watching it unfold and was able to monitor the transmissions from the aircraft to his ground controller. The transmission was something like this:
The first report from the pilot "No Joy" (No Contact) On the scope he was closing in on the bogey. As he got closer he announced (slight static) "I have an eyeball on the target, am going in for a closer look." (more static) Each time he transmitted the static became more and more unintelligable, the static louder each time he transmitted. As his aircraft converged with the target, there came steadier and louder static each time he transmitted until they merged. Then all was silent. From my position the now merged blip started northwest for a short time and then disappeared. The strangest thing about the incident was the closer he got to the bogey, the fewer words were heard due to the increase in static. The static was present only when he transmitted. A word here and there was heard - as the targets merged there was a long blast of static. His last transmission???"
TO 976-3 (SC&T/AT4)
DATED 18 DEC 53
913 C45 Oscoda3961 H15? (helicopter)
US COAST GUARD AIRCRAFT
Cessna 140 Civilian Air Patrol
SURFACE CRAFT EMPLOYED
US COAST GUARD
This one is weird, but I don't see anything that points to aliens or flying saucers. There was something or radar, but it was stationary. The pilot claimed he saw whatever the object was, but his communications failed so we don't know what he saw. Then he disappeared and the radar return disappeared soon afterward.
I'd like to learn more about the radar returns. My first thoughts, based on what Gazrok has posted, is that there was some type of atmospheric condition that occured that caused the radar return. It also effected the pilot's coms and caused the static. For some unknown reason (mechanical failure, health problem, low fuel, etc.) the plane crashed and was never found.
Originally posted by Gazrok
However, the interceptor was sent up to id what the operators deemed to be an inbound or stationary craft. Had it been such an anomaly, this would be the end of our story. Yet, we have one account of the pilot seeing the object (thus now discounting the anomaly theory), and we have the USAF stating the UFO was identified as a Canadian plane (also discounting an anomaly). Whichever story is right, we've got a visual and/or some type of confirmation of an object there.
The F89C had short and troubled service life. It was considered to be the first all-up operational model of the F-89. They were an improvement over the B model, but quickly replaced in line units by the much more potent D model. The C models were then sent to National Guard units.
The F-89C had uprated Allison J-35 engines. The allowable gross weight climbed to 42,827 pounds. Also, the elevators incorporated internal mass balances instead of the external balances on the B model and in May 1950 the Air Force placed an initial order for 63 F-89Cs.
The F-89C first flew in September 1951 and flight-testing ran concurrently with production. Northrop Grumman states that the production run amounted to 163 aircraft. Other sources have given the figure at 172. The first of the Cs reached the line units in February 1952, with the 176th FIS in Wisconsin being the first unit to re-equip with new model. The 176th received their first C on 8 February 1952. Over the next year and a half the 27th, 57th, 174th also flew the C model.
Just 23 days after receiving the planes, the 176th FIS suffered a loss when one of their F-89Cs shed a wing and spun in, killing the crew. Speed and G load restrictions were immediately imposed by the Air force. It was felt that the flight crew had pushed their new equipment too far. On June 18, 1952 another F-89C, this time from the 74th FIS was lost, just three days after the squadron was declared operational. Again the crew of two failed to survive. The loss was due to the same cause, and even stricter limits were imposed. Three more Scorpions were lost due to wing collapse in 24 days, between August 30 and September 22 1952. However the crew of the F-89 from the 74th FIS lost on September 22 was able to eject safely and vital new evidence surfaced. The F-89 fleet was grounded and investigation and solution proceeded hand in hand.
The root of the problem was multifaceted. Part of it was the fact that the aircraft was operating in an envelope where many of the factors were unknown. Another part was that new materials were being used and the testing process turned out to be tragically inadequate. The wings were being ripped off at the fuselage attach point. In an effort to make the broad, thin wing as light as possible, new alloys were being used. The wing attach point was made of an aluminum alloy, T75ST. The alloy promised high strength and light weight. Due to limitations at the Northrop facility during structural testing, the physical testing could be done only to 60% of the design stress. Enough information was derived from the testing that engineers felt that the rest of the range could be mathematically extrapolated from the initial results. After the losses, a new testing program was instituted. The program was moved to a facility that could adequately subject the plane to a full range of wind tunnel and static testing. When testing was resumed, it was found that the new alloy was failing catastrophically. The new alloy was extremely susceptible to fatigue at the high end of the testing loads. Also any machining errors such as nicks or gouges induced fast spreading cracks and centers of fatigue. This “notching” fatigue surfaced in other aircraft that also used the new alloy, such as the B-45 Tornado.
It was found that the wing wasn’t just failing. The thin wing under certain flight loads would twist and flutter before the pilot could realize what was occurring. Because the control system was hydraulically powered with no “feel” or feedback there was virtually no warning to the pilot. At the design limits, to which combat aircraft are normally flown, the large wing would behave in a springlike fashion, rapidly oscillating and twisting. This flutter occurred in a way that it interacted with the airflow that would increase the wing oscillation. Once it began it would rapidly increase in rate and violence. This in turn would exceed the strength of the attach fitting and the wing would separate at the root.
The entire fleet was remanufactured using a high strength steel attachment fitting, and the wing structure was beefed up and strengthened. Fins where also added to the aft portion of the tip tanks to use aerodynamic compensation to help counteract the tendency for the wing to oscillate. After the fixes the F-89 went on to achieve an admirable safety record.
This is a way interesting one, but no one seemed to notice that the initial reports don't conflict: a C-47 is simply the military version of the DC-3, and quite obviously they are rigorously exactly the same on the radar, unless one of them carries some special outside equipment.
For me, the most important nugget here is that this confusion directly contradicts any claim that the unidentified craft was identified either visually or by radar, and instead that it was simply an ASSUMPTION, based on craft in the general area at the time, and made an easy scapegoat.
Originally posted by Gazrok
But it fails to solve some interesting problems.
1. If a plane malfunction, where's the radio transcript of it? Surely he would have mayday'ed....?
2. Surely the USAF would have much rather had it be a malfunction and crash than "unknown". So obviously no such mayday reported.
3. If the radio wasn't working, and the UFO was really the Canadian plane the USAF states, then surely the Canadian plane would have an idea what happened (given when and where the plane vanished from radar, and it's proximity to it....assuming of course, the USAF claim is legit). Why deny being in the area and off course? Unless of course, the Canadian plane WAS on course, and NOT in the area, just as they claim to be the case.
4. And after all these years and the activity in the area, still no wreckage or bodies turned up?
Indeed, the information regarding the plane needs to be considered, however if you check the link given:
(Scroll down to Distribution B)
You can see all the aircraft inspection reports here.