Dow chemicals and discoveries and scientific advancements it made,while examining crashed UFO debris.
One of the most famous and puzzling incidents in UFO history is the 1957 Ubatuba, Brazil case, in which debris said to have been retreived after the
explosion of a UFO was determined to be magnesium metal of unusual composition.
But there is another, surprisingly similar incident that occurred in the US at the dawn of the modern UFO phenomenon.
This incident directly or indirectly involved a host of people and organizations that were later to have a major impact on the study of UFOs in the
United States, and points out that there is still much to be learned concerning the early investigation of the phenomenon by the military, the
intelligence community and even, perhaps, by the corporate world.
Project Blue Book's detailed case file on the earlier incident tells a weird and fascinating tale.
According to Dow documents preserved in the file, the event began just after 5:00 on the afternoon of July 9, 1947, as a forty-five year old
electrician named Raymond Lane and his wife were picking huckleberries near Midland, Michigan. A strange sizzling noise abruptly drew their attention
to a bizarre mass of bright white, fiery sparks hovering about a foot above the ground and about a hundred feet away.
It reminded them of a Fourth of July sparkler, but it was much bigger -- the size, as they later put it, of a bushel basket. The fireball burned
brilliantly for about fifteen seconds before dying out.
When the smoke drifted away, there was nothing left except some hot, light-and-dark-colored metallic-looking debris on the sandy soil. Lane collected
fragments of the material in a tin can and considered whom to tell.
The mysterious fireball had appeared in a uniquely appropriate place. Midland happened to be the home of one of America's most well-equipped
materials analysis facilities: the laboratories of Dow Chemical company, well known for its metallurgical expertise and a world leader in magnesium
Shortly after World War I, Dow metallurgists had developed an alloy that the company called "Dowmetal" -- refined magnesium to which was added about
six percent aluminum and one-half percent manganese.
Dowmetal was widely promoted for automotive and aviation uses and was highly profitable for the company, eventually giving it a virtual monopoly on
magnesium production in the US. In 1933 the company was approached by Belgian scientist Jean Piccard with a request to design and build a Dowmetal
cabin for a record-setting high-altitude balloon flight. The design was highly successful and eventually enabled flights to over 70,000 feet.
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