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FOIA: White Sands Missle Expert Sees Flying Saucer

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posted on Nov, 14 2007 @ 12:12 PM
Incident #90 Between Las Cruces, NM: White Sands V-2 Firing Range
Interview with White Sands missile scientist who saw a "flying saucer" over the V-2 test range, and reported it to local media.

Document date: 1947-06-29
Department: Naval Research Laboratory
Author: Naval Research Laboratory
Document type: report
pages: 14


Archivist's Notes: The document includes newspaper clippings of the missile expert's eye-witness account of a flying saucer over the Naval Research Laboratory missle range. The expert, Dr. C. J. Zohn, who was in the area to participate in secret tests, indicated he saw the saucer four days before the scheduled testing activity at White sands.

This one is really interesting. Apparently a missile expert summoned by the Navy to participate in testing the V-2 at White Sands saw a "flying saucer" a few days before testing began. He reported it to local media, and then the official cover-up began.

I suppose someone called in by the Navy to participate in testing missiles would have a pretty good idea of what he's looking at in the sky.

posted on Nov, 14 2007 @ 07:35 PM
Sorry- most of the pages are illegible in this pdf and because they are scanned documents, microfish, faxes, and other forms of "copying" it will be difficult to decipher the actual contents without looking at the original documents.

But it certainly keeps the awake peeps busy- doesn't it?

Wish I could be of more help.

posted on Nov, 14 2007 @ 07:52 PM
Well I could make out some of the story and only one page seemed to be too dark to read.

Funny my reading program try to fix the page but could not, I had not idea adobe could do that.

I think that it has to be newspaper records of some of this incidents still avaliable, because it does shows some clips.

posted on Nov, 14 2007 @ 10:12 PM

Originally posted by dk3000
Sorry- most of the pages are illegible in this pdf and because they are scanned documents, microfish, faxes, and other forms of "copying" it will be difficult to decipher the actual contents without looking at the original documents.

Welcome to the world of data mining FOIA documents

Some of the ones I have are so black you have to wonder why they bothered releasing it

posted on Nov, 14 2007 @ 10:46 PM
Very interesting from what I could make out. There was only one part that was unreadable. The rest I just zoomed in on. There were a few words that were still unintelligible but you could still get the gist of it.

Almost seventy with no explanation evident. That's a little under 30% of them and thats only over a couple of years. Imagine what the tally must be like today.

What year is the newest document in MR. Stone's archive from? Is there any from the 90's?

posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 03:25 AM
I see the date was June 29, 1947. Thats only a few days before the Roswell incident and not very far away. I know there were two early reports of UFO sightings by different people and this must be another one.

* twilight zone theme song plays in background *

Just started going through it.

posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 03:39 AM
I think I'm gonna type all the legible bits up and post them for easier reading - 2 reasons, 1st I'm board and have spare time, 2nd my typing speed had decreased badly in recent months for some reason!

If this is already being done let me know so as I don't waste my less than precious time

posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 03:59 AM
Initial thoughts are that the sighting coincides with the Bootid meteor shower:

A meteorite skimming the earth's atmosphere could be a possible explanation, might explain the suggested presence of a 'vapour trail' and would not be something even a trained military observer would be familiar with.

However were that the explanation I would have expected the observers to describe it in terms of a light, rather than an 'object'.

+10 more 
posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 04:01 AM
(page 2 text)
Incident #90 – between Las Cruas, new Mexico White Sands V-2 firing grounds – 29 June 1947

The information given here is insufficient for any definite conclusion to be drawn, but it is not impossible that the object observed was metoric. The estimated time in sight is quite long however, and, if a meteor, the object [illegible] have had a pronounced vapor trail. The “solar specular reflection which seemed to change in intensity” could, of course, have been light from the meteor itself, blended with daylight.
Once again, it is unfortunate that more detailed observations were not made.
(page 3 text)

1. Date 29 June 1947 Incident # 90
2. Time 1;00 and 1;30 P.M.
3. Location Highway 17 between Las Crucas, [illegible] . M & White Sands V-2 firing grounds
4. Name of observer Mr. J. R. Kauke, Mr. Zohn, Mr. C. O. Rockwood.
5. Occupation of observer Mr. Zohn – Admin Assis in Rocket Sands Section NRL, Mr. Rockwood, MRL Rocket Sands high altitude spectrograph scientist, & Mr. Kauke, Telemetering supervis
6. Address of observer N/S
7. Place of observation highway 17 – ground
8. Number of objects 1
9. Distance of object from observer N/S
10. Time in sight 30 seconds
11. Altitude between 8,000 an 10,000 ft
(Mr. Zohn put little credence in the estimates)
12. Speed rapid velocity
13. Direction of flight northerly direction
14. Tactics horizontal flight
15. Sound N/S
16. Size N/S
17. Colour N/S
18. Shape uniform – no protuberances such as wings of a plane
19. Odor detected N/S
20. Apparent construction N/S
21. Exhaust trails Mr. Kauke thought at one time there were vapor trails
22. Weather conditions sunlight
23. Effect on clouds N/S
24. Sketches or photographs None
25. Manner of disappearance receded until lost from sight
26. remarks: (over)

[section blacked out]
(page 4 text)
[section blacked out]
Mr. Kauke who was driving the car noticed the object first. He called it to the attention of the other occupants. Mr. Zohn thereupon open the window nearest him and observed the object moving at an unknown rapid velocity at an unknown altitude (which he estimated at 10,000 ft) and which Mr. Kauke thought was between 8,000 and 10,000 feet.
When first sighted the object was to their right and forward of the automobile at an unstated elevation and apparently moving horizontally in a Northerly direction such as to cross the highway from right to left.
The object was seen by all the occupants of the machine. Mr. Zohn could observe no details other than the shape was uniform with no protuberances such as the wings of a plane. It was too distant to enable [illegible] visualization. There was some solar specular reflection which seemed to change in intensity as the object receded until lost from sight (after an estimated 30 seconds from the time first noticed.) Mr. Zohn could not explain how it disappeared except that he thought the reflection angle could of changed abruptly. The sun was to the rear of the automobile. Mr. Kauke thought at one time he saw vapor trails.
(page 5 text)
[letter headed:]

SUDJECT: Interview of Person Reporting Unidentified Aerial Object

TO: Asst Chief of Air Staff-2
Collection Brance, AAF
Washington 25, D.C.

1. At the requect of Lt. Col. G.D. Garrett, AAF A 2, the undersigned has interviewed this date Mr. C. H. Zohn, Administrative Assistant in the Rocket Sands Section. [illegible], who had previously released information to the press regarding as aerial object which he stated he saw at White Sands. New Mexico, 29 June.
2. Substance of the interview is as follows:
At between 1:00 and 1:30 p.m. Sunday, 29 June 1947, Mr. Zohn, in the company of the following: Mr. J.. R. Kauke, Mrl Rocket Sands Section telemetering supervisor; and Mrs. Nancy Rockwood, wife of the latter, was preceeding along Highway 17 in a North-Westerly direction from Las Crucas, New Mexico to White Sands V-2 firing grounds in an automobile driven by Mr. Kauke. At some time between those given and about one-third of the distance from Las Crucas Mr. Kauke, who was driving the car, noticed the subject device and called attention to the other occupants. Mr. Zohn opened the window nearest him and observed the object moving at an unknown rapid velocity at an unknown altitude, which he estimated at about 10,000 feet, and which Mr. Kauke, who also observed it through an open window, estimated at between 8,000 and 10,000 feet, although the former puts little credence in the estimates.

When first sighted the object was to the right and forward of the automobile at an unstated elevation and was apparently moving horizontally in a Northerly direction such as to cross the highway from right to left. The object was observed by all persons in the automobile. Mr. Zohn stated that he could not observe any details of the object other than that its shape was uniform, with no protuberances such as the wings of an airplane. It was too distant to enable [illegible] visualization. There was apparently some solar specular reflection which seemed to change in intensity as the object receded until it was lost from sight after an estimated 30 seconds from the time first noticed. He could not explain how it disappeared except perhaps that the reflection angle may have changed abruptly. There were apparently no clouds or visibility obstructions at the time. The sun was to the rear of the automobile. Mr. Kauke thought that at one time he saw vapor trails.
page 7 unreadable, page 8 newspaper clippings.
(page 9 text)

3610th Electronics Station
Analysis of Project Grudge Reports
(page 10 text)
SUBJECT: Analysis of Project “Grudge” Reported Incidents
TO: Commanding [illegible]
Air Material [illegible]
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
Dayton, Ohio
1. Reference is made to the letters from your Headquarters to this section of 22 November 1945, 6 December 1945, and 14 January 1949.
Subjects: “project ‘sign’ “, requesting that reported incidents 1 through 172 be analysed to determine whether of not these might have been caused by balloons launched by these laboratories.
2. A listing has been compiled of all balloons launched by those laboratories and its contractors for special atmospheric research purposes, from the first such launching to No. 101 on 17 November 1948. Each of those launchings has been compared with the reported incidents 1 through 172. Factors of comparison were date of launching and date of recovery with respect to date of reported incidents : place of launching and and place of place of recovery with respect to the place of reported incidents, and possible deviations from known flight path with respect to the places of reported incidents. So that your office may make an independent analysis, three copies of the launching list are inclosed.

[next para bracketed in pen]
a. Incidents No.5 through No. 16 reported on 4 July 1947 throughout Oregon, Idaho and Washington gave, in general, descriptions of clusters or groups of objects. The 3 July 1947 balloon launching No. [illegible] at Alamogordo was a cluster of balloons and was not recovered, and so might be suspected of being the [illegible] of these reports. However, although not recovered, this flight was terminated in the New Mexico Tularoea Valley only a few miles northwest of Alamogordo. That the balloons were downed was determined both by airplane spotting and by radio direction finding upon the balloon telemetering instruments. Recovery of the balloons and instruments was prevented by the impassability of the terrain.

b. Balloon release No.11 of 7 July 1947 could compare with respect to date with incident No. 1 through No. 4, and again with incident No. 40. This balloon flight was again a cluster.

[page footed B-34560]

(page 11 text)
Ltr, ERH, to CG, AMC, Subj: Analysis of Proj, “Grudge” Reported Incidents.

The description of incident No.40 is inconsistent with the appearance of balloon flight No. 11. Also, in consideration of the prevailing upper winds, it is very unlikely that the balloons would have gone more than a few miles westwood of Al[illegible]gordo, although it must be admitted that a long flight west of the launching point could not be ruled as impossible.

c. Incident No. 47 compared somewhat in time with balloon Launching No. 10 of 5 July 1947. However, balloon No. 10 although not recovered was known to have been downed northeast of Albuquorque, New Mexico. It was not recovered due to impassability of terrain. Incident No. 113 is a reasonable description of the 20 ft. plastic balloon and instruments used by those laboratories. This incident was on the [illegible] of balloon release No. 46 of 9 April 1945 at Alamogordo. [illegible] the time of the reported incident (1506 CST) is about ½ hour before the time of balloon release (1432 [illegible]ST), thus the incident could not have been that balloon.
d. It is of interest to note that incident No. 122 was reported by an employee of these Laboratories who had considerable experience in the use of balloons of all kinds, and could have been depended upon to know the appearance and behavior of a bolloon if it was this he saw.
........................ CONT NEXT POST

[edit on 15/11/2007 by Now_Then]

posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 06:29 AM
...........from prev post.

e. Incident No. 163 bears a fair description of the appearance of a large plastic balloon in sunset light. The object’s dissapearance could be accounted for either by its movement into the earth’s sunset shadow or by natural defocusing of the observer’s eyes. This incident could possably have been balloon release No. 75 or N0. 76 or 20 and 21 July [illegible] from Alamogordo. Balloon No 75 was recovered at Holliater, California, which is in Montoroy Bay area, on 22 July 194[illegible] and could have easily had a trajectory which would have been within sight of the Los Angeles area. Balloon No. 76 was never recovered. It is possible that it had a trajectory similar to No. 75.
f. All other reported incidents from 1 to 172 do not seem to have reasonable comparison with balloons launched by these Laboratories.

3. The balloons used by these Laboratories are now somewhat standardized. They are 20 feet long, plastic, white in color, and hemisphere-on-cone in shape. Nearly all launchings are made as the Holloman AFB at Alamogordo, New Mexico. Two photograph prints are inclosed showing the appearance and size of these balloons. The larger photograph shows the typical flight appearance at any altude where it would be visible. Tt is hoped that this information may be or some use to you in identifying future reports of incidents.
[page footed 8-34560] numbered 2.
(page 12 text)
Ltr, ERH, to CG, AMC, Subj: Analysis of Proj, “Grudge” Reported Incidents.
4. It is believed that [illegible] of the [illegible] in the questionairs “Checklist-Unidentified Flying Objects” pre[illegible] insignifi[illegible] an unreliable data from an observer. [illegible]: 9. Distance of object from observer: 11, Altitude: 12, Speed, and 16. [illegible]. For any unfamiliar object beyond the focal range of the human eyes (about 60 ft.), those four factors are naturally interdependent and therefore indeterminate unless at least one of them (and [illegible] observed angles) are known. Directly asking the observer about these indeteminants not only gets unreliable data but induces wild answers because the observer is led into making a statement about quantities for which he has no basis in fact. He will [illegible] knowledge of [illegible] one of these factors and [illegible] give incorrect information on all. That people (many of whom could [illegible]) [illegible] give [illegible] to two significant [illegible] on those questions, which really cannot be answered at all, is proof of the unreliability of their information.
5. It is suggested that those four items on the questionnaire be replaced by questions which will yield answers possible of being independent facts in terms of the observer’s best estimates of angles and time. From such data given by observers of the same object at two different places, a reliable calculated estimate could be made of the object’s size, altitude, speed and path. These data should include:
a. An estimate of the angular size of the object. A quick bur reasonable estimate can be made by the angle subtended by the index finger held at arms length. The finger (7/8” wide) of an average man held at 26” to 30” (arms length) will subtend an angle of approximately two degrees. In this way angular size from about 1/2° to about 5° can be estimated.
b. The range of the objects flight in terms of the angle subtended by the observed [illegible]. If the object moves in reasonably straight course it is important to observe the position at the beginning and the end of its course. After the flight has been completed a person can extend his arms toward the two points and also at 90° or 180° and by comparison estimate the angular extent of the flight. It is also important that information which will determine those directions relative to a compass point be given. If the angular course is associated with objects on the horizon, with roads, with the sun (if the time of day is also noted) or by the north star, the orientation can be rechecked at any later time.
c. The time required for the object to traverse the observed course. This is probably the most difficult estimate to make. Timing with a watch is the most satisfactory, but an observer is seldom prepared to do so. Seconds can be counted with good accuracy by saying,
(page 13 text)
“one flying saucers, two flying saucers, three flying saucers” ---etc. At a normal speaking speed. On the other hand it is not easy to count seconds and at the same time make all the other desirable observations. It must be remembered that when a person is excited his estimates of time are apt to be rather inaccurate.
d. Estimation of the elevation angle of the object. Almost all persons will overestimate elevation angles. This tendency can be reduced by the observer extending one arm vertically and the other horizontally to observe a 90° angle and a more accurate estimate obtained.
6. It is realized that it might not be possible for an observer to perform the operations suggested in the preceding paragraph, during the period the object is sighted. If he would immediately reconsider what he saw and then estimate such measurements, he should be able to give quantitative answers accurate to at least 25%. In interrogating observers, they should also be asked to reconstruct their observations and then estimate these same factors. It is suggested that instructions for making such quick and estimated observations be given to weather observers, control tower operators, civil police, forest and fire rangers, and other such people who might have good chance of seeing unidentified flying objects. If any information for reliable observation should be included.
7. This orqanization will be pleased to be of any further assistance required in connection with the matter.


3 Incls
1. List of balloons launched (in trip)
2. 8”x10” photo print of plastic balloon
3. 4”x5” photo print of plastic balloon
/s/ .C. Trakowaki, Jr.
Captain, USAF
Director, Base Directorate for Geophysical Research
(page 14 text)


1. Astronomical
a. High Probability:
#26, 27, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 48, 49, 59, 60, 66, 69, 70, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 101, 102, 103, 104, 116, 119, 132, 136, 140, 147, 148, 159, 174, 184, 185, 187, 197, 203, 204, 208, 216, 219, 238.
b. Fair or Low probability:
#19, 20, 23, 24, 28, 35, 36, 46, 50, 63, 67, 80, 82, 93, 100, 112, 120, 121, 129, 130, 144, 153, 160, 166, 167, 175, 192, 199, 202, 202, 220, 230, 240.

2. Non-astronomical but suggestive of other explanations
a. Balloons or ordinary aircraft:
#3, 11, 22, 41, 42, 53, 54, 73, 81, 83, 91, 92, 113, 114, 115, 126, 131, 138, 141, 145, 155, 156, 187, 157, 159, 160, 161, 163, 169, 171, 173, 178, 180, 182, 188, 190, 194, 195, 196, 198, 200, 201, 209, 210, 217, 222, 235, 237, 239.
b. Rockets, flares or falling bodies:
#4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 25, 56, 65, 78, 106, 107, 108, 109, 133, 170, 211, 218.
c. Miscellaneous (reflections, auroral streamers, birds, etc):
#39, 89, 123, 124, 128, 146, 164, 181, 189, 214, 221, 231, 234.

3. Non-astronomical, with no explanation evident
a. Lack of evidence precludes explanations:
#38, 44, 45, 47, 56, 57, 72, 86, 87, 88, 90 [90 is ringed in pen], 99, 110, 117, 118, 125, 127, 137, 139, 149, 150, 177, 179, 191, 206, 212, 216, 229, 232, 233.
b. Evidence offered suggests no explanation:
#1, 2, 10, 17, 21, 29, 37, 40, 51, 52, 58, 61, 62, 64, 68, 71, 75, 76, 77, 79, 84, 105, 111, 122, 135, 151, 152, 154, 162, 168, 172, 176, 183, 186, 193, 207, 215, 223, 224, 225, 226, 227, 236, 241, 242, 243, 244, 134.
Wow I must of been board!

That's easier to read, and if need be people can copy and paste from that. I didn't really find that one that interesting personally - but is was a bit of typing practice.

If any one uses any facts from the above be sure to double check with the original PDF! I'm not perfect


[edit on 15/11/2007 by Now_Then]

posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 06:37 AM
Thanks very much for transcribing the document. I'd like to know what the illegible word is

"It was too distant to enable [illegible] visualization"

Clear perhaps? I'm drawing a blank on this, what do you chaps think? Not something really obvious I'm missing is it?

posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 07:12 AM
The word is "stereoscopic" which I think means, to view with both eyes in order to get a sense of depth perception.

The closest definition I found was in wiki for the word stereoscopy.

[edit on 11/15/2007 by Hal9000]

posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 07:17 AM
snooping around a v2 test wonder it got shot down. Maybe they used a v2 technology missile against it as a test; hence "roswell."

posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 07:59 AM
reply to post by Hal9000

Cool - spot any more and i'll edit later - having a bit of normal world time now!

posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 08:52 AM
People you are amazing!!!!!!!!!!! now we have something easier to read even with some missing words, still enough to understand what is going on.

Now_Then thanks for that great work.

posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 09:05 AM
reply to post by Now_Then

...“one flying saucers, two flying saucers, three flying saucers”...


Allow me to also thank you for the time you've devoted to the transcription of this information.

Interesting read, if for no other reason than to observe the methodology used by the government in the investigation of these incidents.

As a potential witness to a UFO event, (hey, it could happen!) in support of making detailed, quantifiable observations, I found the section on using what you have on hand, literally, to be quite helpful.

I was not aware you could use your own body parts, i.e. fingers and arms, to aid in the estimation of size, elevation and velocity of an object in flight.


Well done! Starred!

[edit on 15-11-2007 by goosdawg]

posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 10:36 AM
So I understand the document correctly in that the last section of numbers is identifying different cases and there probability of different explinations? The report only covers the one case but the last section deals with many more correct?

posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 10:46 AM
Here are a couple more corrections if you can still edit.

Originally posted by Now_Then
The estimated time in sight is quite long however, and, if a meteor, the object should have had a pronounced vapor trail.

3. Location Highway 17 between Las Crucas, N. M & White Sands

N.M. is New Mexico.

That's all I have time for right now.

posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 10:47 AM
reply to post by Canada_EH

Yep - so I believe. The incident in question is #90, in the PDF it's ringed in pen.

I think the last part refers to 'project Grudge' that is where 170 odd incidents were forwarded to be compared with balloon launches. The last sections (3a and 3b) would be all the cases with the highest probability of a genuine UFO with regards to the data available for the people that compiled the report.

posted on Nov, 15 2007 @ 11:12 AM
reply to post by dk3000

funny avatar-----john leer will be jealous of this one since in his signature he thinks nothing would be better than a horseback ride-----------myself i wonder if G-D beings with Their sense of humour ever did make a horse like that one while experimenting with lifeforms on earth millions of years before making us ?

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