July 8 1947 - Muroc AFB
At 3:50 P.M., 40 miles south of Muroc, a P-51 pilot at 20,000 feet spotted a wingless, tailless "flat object of light-reflecting nature."
He twice attempted an intercept but could not climb high enough. Intelligence later took great note of that incident because they determined that no
military or civilian aircraft were in the area.
(Edward J. Ruppelt's personal papers, File R104 and R105, courtesy of Professor Michael Swords.)
That night at 9:20 P.M. spherical objects were again seen in the area, this time at 8,000 feet still moving against the wind at around 300 miles per
This was reminiscent of a sighting just the day before at 10:10 A.M. when Muroc test pilot Major J.C. Wise, while preparing his XP-84 aircraft for
takeoff, observed one yellowish-white spherical object traveling at 200 to 225 miles per hour at 10,000 feet. It headed east with an oscillating
(Ibid.; and Project Blue Book Files, Roll No. 1, Case 44, listed as Incident 3 in 1947 era documents.)
July 8, 1947 - Muroc Air Base - California: 11:50 a.m.
The third Muroc sighting took place just before noon. A group of officers and technicians were assembled in Area Two at Rogers Dry Lake, east of
Muroc, watching several aircraft prepare to carry out a seat-ejection experiment. As they watched their attentions were drawn to a peculiar object in
Major Richard R. Shoop, of the Office of Technical Engineering at Muroc, reported later that his attention was called to the object by Colonel Signa
A. Gilkey, another observer. In his report, Major Shoop said the thin, metallic object he saw was moving in a northerly direction at a distance he
estimated to be from five to eight miles off.
It was seen first high up, moving slowly in an oscillating fashion, and appeared to be about the size of a pursuit plane. It was then seen descending
almost to the ground, but rose slightly before it was lost to view in the distance toward the mountains in the northwest. The object was of a shiny,
aluminum color and its speed was slow, only about three times the rate of descent of the test parachute from the seat ejection experiment, which took
place a short time after the object was first seen. Shoop said the observation lasted about eight minutes.
Another witness, test pilot Captain John Paul Stapp, said that at 11:50 a.m., he saw a silvery object, resembling "a parachute canopy" when first
observed, traveling somewhat north of due west. As the object slowly descended, presenting a lateral view, it gradually changed its shape from
hemispheric to oval, and two "knobs" or "fins" appeared at the top, crossing each other slowly and giving the impression of a slow rotation, or
oscillation. It seemed to be flying more slowly than a conventional aircraft as it descended from an estimated altitude of 20,000 feet.
Its diameter appeared to be approximately 50 feet. It descended toward the mountaintops to the northwest and was lost to view after approximately 90
seconds. No sound was heard. No vapor trails were seen, nor any visible means of propulsion.
Following a talk Dr. McDonald gave in Las Vegas, Nevada, in May, 1967, a man came up to him and said he knew one of the witnesses who had been
involved in the Muroc sightings in 1947. He identified the witness as Oliver Earl Cooper. In August, Dr. McDonald was able to get in touch with
Cooper, and it appears that Earl Cooper was the fourth observer referred to in the final sighting at Muroc on July 8, 1947. (His name was not
mentioned specifically in the Air Force files.)
As Cooper recalled the incident for McDonald, he was with a group of four or five people on the west side of Rogers Dry Lake, near Area One (note
discrepancy). They were at the east end of a 10,000-foot runway, looking east, with the runway to their backs. He couldn't recall what test was being
carried out, but thought it was a fuel test involving the XP-84. He recalled that a pilot had been one of the group (Stapp).
It was a hot, clear day. The object was first seen at about 20 to 25 degrees elevation to the east. According to Cooper's recollection, 20 years
later, it was moving in a generally southerly direction -- possibly east southeast (approximately 180 degrees off from the directions listed in the
contemporary report). He stated that everyone had looked up, but, that no one would say anything about it until it was noticed that the others were
also observing it.
He told McDonald that as the object moved south it stopped, then moved again before it disappeared. It moved in a horizontal path and Cooper recalled
no irregularity of motion. He described the speed as not terribly fast -- his impression was perhaps ten miles an hour. He had a vague recollection of
its moving a bit from side to side at times, but not fluttering -- just veering somewhat sinuously. He estimated he watched it for four or five
He described the shape of the object as elliptical, somewhat rounded; its color was off-white, with no glinting from the sun. The altitude was
approximately 10,000 feet. Toward the end of the sighting he recalled the object as having accelerated somewhat before disappearing. He did not recall
any other reports from Muroc that day, but he may have never had occasion to hear of them.
He said that all of his group were asked to make statements on the sighting later.
He did not recall the seat-ejection experiment, although his recollection about this point twenty years later can be expected to he vague, as well as
for other finer details.
He told McDonald that later the sighting was explained to them as possibly a weather balloon. They were told that it changed apparent size because of
"atmospheric conditions." Apparently no explanation was given for the balloons to have been able to fly into the face of the wind.
(Source: Ted Bloecher - REPORT ON THE UFO WAVE OF 1947)
edit on 21-5-2016 by A51Watcher because: (no reason given)