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"Bogus Bogie" -- The Myth of the Gemini-7 UFO

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posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 09:41 AM
This came up in discussion of a NASA UFO compendium on youtube but it seems too important to get buried there -- the research into the famous 'bogey' sighting on Gemini-7 in which astronaut Frank Borman is alleged to have seen and reported a UFO.

Problem is, the story is badly garbled to begin with, and the photograph most commonly associated with it is a forgery. The flight situation -- what was actually going on -- is also misreported or totally ignored.

Naturally, under such circumstances, the story is fundamentally unworthy of belief. But sadly, under current circumstances, few if any people who chose to believe it made any effort to validate the story or its sources.

What have we learned from this experience?

First: understand the context. What was actually going on during this mission phase was a critical re-rendezvous experiment that had to succeed if follow-on missions (and the moon landing) had any chance. For a NASA history document I prepared this report of the accomplishments of the flight, and how some events were subsequently garbled:

Second: Ask the primary witnesses, directly. Do not rely on multi-hand reports by potentially biased intermediaries, or even solely on extracts of decades old air-to-ground tapes that may give only partial, or garbled, impressions. Go directly to the primary witnesses.

Here's Borman's explanation whenever he is asked -- note how his view is actually censored in the 'UFO news media'.

Astronaut Frank Borman Clarifies Gemini 7 UFO Myth
From Stig Agermose
Posted 7-14-98

Note - The following is an excerpt from an article "Flying the Gusmobile" about the Gemini missions. Published on the site of "Air and Space" magazine July 14, 1998.


At almost twice the length of Gemini 5, Commander Frank Borman's Gemini 7 mission may have been even more trying, but it grabbed the attention of at least one Hollywood producer.

"Right after we got into orbit we were supposed to 'station keep' or fly formation with the booster," Borman says. "We were flying formation and taking photographs and infrared measurements and I started calling it a 'bogey,' which is an old fighter pilot term. Well, a lot of the UFO freaks on the ground picked this up and said we had seen a UFO because we had referred to our booster as a bogey.

"Just this past year I got a call from a producer at 'Unsolved Mysteries' and they said, 'We read your account about your seeing a UFO on Gemini 7 and would you come on the program?' I told them: 'I'd love to come on your program because I'd love to straighten that out.'

"I explained what it was I saw, and I said, 'I don't think there were UFOs,' and the producer said, 'Well, I'm not sure we want you on the program.' "

A more recent interview with Bill Harwood, CBS News space reporter:

HARWOOD : Were there any other things from your Gemini mission that—and they specifically want you to tell, maybe things that weren’t in your book Countdown? Any stories that you’ve—?

BORMAN : No. I—the interesting thing—one of the interesting things was flying formation with the second stage that put us into orbit and using an infrared sensor to track that. We referred to it as a “bogey” all the time, which was natural, normal parlance for it. And when we got back, True magazine wrote a big story about how we’d been tracking a UFO and all that nonsense. So I’ve been plagued with that ever since. People say, “Well,”—if you run into UFO circles today, they’ll still tell you, well, we saw a UFO. Which is just foolish

[edit on 2-6-2009 by JimOberg]

posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 09:49 AM
S+F Jim,

Surely this, at least, let's people see that there are other out there who would rather bias opinion towards the existence of ETs and UFOs than take genuine account of what happened.

Not saying it's every case foilfolk - just saying it can, and does, happen.

Thanks again Jim!


posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 09:54 AM
You can also have a star and flag from little ol' me.

And whilst this account could well be, and is probably the correct one. there's always going to be that niggling doubt, from the ufo community, who aren't going to believe what any NASA official say. Which is why there's a whole lot of conspiracy theories surrounding the whole phenomina. People are intristicly untrusting of those who run the show. And that's also a plausable theory, IMO. Infact, it's pretty much what alot of ufology is based on, the lies of TPTB (or the supposed lies, rather)

Just to throw another angle in.

posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 09:58 AM
This is the famous 'twin domed UFOs with force-field undersides' that is commonly associated with the Gemini-7 mission:

From my 1995 article:

The "UFO" Version: Meanwhile, curiously, the "bogey" story evolved into an independent legend all its own. This "UFO" case was endorsed by America's leading "ufologist", Northwestern University astronomy professor Dr. J. Allen Hynek, in his book "Edge of Reality" (coauthored with Jacques Vallee, Regnery, 1974), with a new twist. In a chapter ironically titled "Scientists at Work", Hynek includes a list of "astronaut UFO sightings" compiled by amateur investigator George Fawcett. Hynek later insisted he had no need to check the list himself since he just wanted to spark debate, and that readers were wrong to assume that he thought the list was authentic.

This version was repeated by authors such as Donald Keyhoe and Charles Berlitz, and is now widespread in the "UFO literature". For example, in the magazine UFO UNIVERSE (Summer 1994), Brad Steiger (in "Alien Efforts to Undermine Earth's Space Programs") wrote: "When astronauts James Lovell and Frank Bormann (JEO: sic!) were orbiting aboard GT-7 on December 4, 1965, a massive spherical object (JEO: sic!) slowly crossed in front of them. When Bormann radioed ground control that they had a 'bogey' at ten o'clock high, control technicians suggested that the astronauts might be sighting their booster rocket. 'We know where the booster is', Bormann said coolly. 'This is an actual sighting'." The addition of spurious details ("large, spherical object") and elaboration of the astronauts' words is a common feature of such folklorization.

Forgeries: Popular writer Robert Anton Wilson (in "Cosmic Trigger", And/Or Press, 1978) describes the 'Fawcett List' used by Hynek as "NASA cases [which] fall in the category of craft that look and act like spaceships from elsewhere, as Dr. Hynek, who collected them from Air Force files, has indicated." Of course, Hynek hadn't gotten them from such a source, as he himself said, but it made a much better story the way Wilson improved on it. For Wilson, his "Item #10" was as follows: "December 4, 1965 - Gemini 7: Frank Borman and Jim Lovell photographed twin oval-shaped UFOs with glowing undersides."

Now, where did THAT part of the Gemini-7 story come from? I tracked that down some twenty years ago, and published the results, but the story continues to flourish. My main study was in SEARCH magazine, Winter 1976 (issue #129), Palmer Publications, article "Astronauts & UFOs -- The Whole Story", and a shorter version appeared in "Space World" magazine in July 1977.

I wrote: ". . .Only a partisan digging for evidence, and desperate to find such evidence, would make much of this common event. But a sign of desperation is indeed found in connection with the Gemini 7 UFO case. It is not the desperation of government officials trying to cover up the truth about UFOs. Rather, it is the desperation of some outsider trying to manufacture counterfeit 'astronaut UFO' evidence, an activity which should not be necessary if the 'real' UFO evidence were as persuasive as many think."

"It involves a photograph showing two very strange glowing objects. Each is hexagonal in shape, viewed at an angle, and supported by a dazzling 'force field' below it. A cloud covered earth is seen in the background.

"This photograph has appeared in books, magazines, newspapers and pamphlets. It is part of the traveling slide show of UFO lecturers from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) and elsewhere. I have heard it described as 'showing a typical UFO force field propulsion system', and 'similar to other UFO photographs taken on Earth the same year.'

"The photograph is a forgery. It is a hoax. What the anonymous counterfeiter did was take an ordinary photograph of Earth made from the Gemini-7 spaceship on December 4, 1965. The nose of the spacecraft fills the lower part of the frame, and on the nose, catching the glare of the sun, is a pair of roll control rocket thrusters used to adjust the attitude and spin rate of the Gemini. The original photo (NASA S65-63722, which I have personally examined) was then retouched by the unscrupulous hoaxter to eliminate the edge of the nose from view, so the dark surface of the spaceship merged into the dark Earth beneath. This left the two now mysterious lights seemingly suspended in space, as it were. A normal space tourist photo was turned into convincing UFO evidence, and thousands of people were fooled."

Here is a view similar to the ORIGINAL of the 'UFO version' above. Note the sunglint off the nose of the Gemini, and the brightness of the roll thrusters.

This is the exact image that was later altered: " target='_blank' class='tabOff'/>

Now see how the edge of the nose is melded into the dark Earth background, and extra glints on the nose are erased. " target='_blank' class='tabOff'/>

This image is then turned upside down to create the amazing 'pair of UFOs' seen at the top of this message.

posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 10:09 AM
My suggestion isn't to trust one angle or the other -- but perhaps to be a little more balanced in the degree of distrust in ALL directions.

Secondly, do not wallow in distrust, or blind trust. Seek out contrary views, do original investigation. The degree to which inspired and dogged amateurs can successfully dig into this topic, with the internet and the telephone and shoe leather -- is astonishingly encouraging.

Good research -- and the threat of good research -- has a positive feedback onto 'official' spokesmen. Being accused of lying, by raving crackpots, is water off a duck's back Getting caught at lying, with documentation that real journalists will pay attention to, is a kick in the gut, or lower.

So far, in the world of UFOria, promulgating ignorant, garbled, and falsified data is a pretty much risk-free endeavor [I said that 30 years ago and see no evidence it has changed since]. The hyper-gullibility of the target audience encourages this, and true UFO research suffers, along with the folks taken in with the gimmicks -- they make bad choices not only in this topic, but elsewhere in life.

Examples such as these ought to make everybody's appreciation of the mystery, and their approach to helping rather than hindering the understanding of it, better.

[edit on 2-6-2009 by JimOberg]

posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 10:12 AM

Originally posted by JimOberg
My suggestion isn't to trust one angle or the other -- but perhaps to be a little more balanced in the degree of distrust in ALL directions.

Wise words right there
It's good to get a little balence in somewhere along the line.

But i think you could swap the term "hypergullible" with "hyperhopeful" (as I'd prefer to refer to myself) Although, we all know that's not always the case.

posted on Jun, 2 2009 @ 10:40 AM

Originally posted by Acidtastic

Originally posted by JimOberg
My suggestion isn't to trust one angle or the other -- but perhaps to be a little more balanced in the degree of distrust in ALL directions.

Wise words right there
It's good to get a little balence in somewhere along the line.

But i think you could swap the term "hypergullible" with "hyperhopeful" (as I'd prefer to refer to myself) Although, we all know that's not always the case.

Well, some hyper-hopeful folks have been known to stumble across useful stuff while on a quest for a myth or an illusion -- like, America. The Queen's advisors were correct: Columbus was nuts to claim he could reach Asia by sailing west. They knew how far it was (they knew the Earth was round) and since Eratosthenes folks had known the approx true dimensions of the globe. Columbus got it magnificently wrong.

I think there are useful things to be learned from some kernel of UFO reports... separating the signal from the noise is hard, and eager-believers (and media types who cater to them) make it harder. Heck, I've seen cases where governments actually encouraged public UFOria to masquerade their own secret military activities...

posted on Jun, 7 2009 @ 09:29 AM
Good idea for a thread and clearly neglected by those that prefer to believe the accounts that are found on various UFO sites. My interest in UFOs has run from believing anything to believing in cautious judgment. Now I think that people with an interest in UFOs need to be able to accept two possibilities...that some are ET or that none are ET. If they can't accept he possibility that none are ET, it becomes redundant checking reports and sources.

The astronaut UFO stories fascinate many. Due to the rhetorical way they are presented by books, magazines and websites they have become 'authentic evidence' of ET. I haven't found any astronaut account of seeing UFOs to be accurate. There's a YT video that twists Buzz Aldridge's words to describe a UFO following them in space. An uncut interview on Larry King is absolutely clear that it was part of the Apollo rocket stage. Each account I've checked has been found to be misrepresentation, out of context or BS.

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