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Originally posted by Bob Down Under
reply to post by annella
Yep! Internet access would be a bit hard in 1952
Thanks for posting this interesting info. Some are very likely to be meteors, but others are truly inexplicable. The one object the pilot reported only 30 meters away is an incredibly close distance estimate, though you'd think if he saw it that closely he'd be able to give more details. But not many details are provided so i wonder if it was really that close.
Originally posted by annella
" so called flying saucers"
This is interesting also, and like so many of these old declassified documents, it shows that the officials had no more idea about what these things are than the average person does.
Originally posted by annella
Apologies if this has been visited/posted before...but having a look around the 'Net for further info this came to light.
Condon Report: sighting that predates the Condon Committee
I saw the object between 12:15 and 12:20 p.m from the grounds of the........Observatory. It was moving from the Southeast to the Northwest. It was extremely prominent and showed some size to the naked eye, that is, it was not merely a pinpoint. During the last half of its visibility I observed it with 4-power binoculars. At first it looked like a parachute tipped at an angle to the vertical, but this same effect could have been produced by a sphere partly illuminated by the sun and partly shadowed, or by a disc-shaped object as well. Probably there are still other configurations which would give the same impression under proper inclination and illumination. I could see it well enough to be sure it was not an airplane (no propeller or wings were apparent) nor a bird. I saw no evidence of exhaust gases nor any markings on the object.
Most fortunately the object passed between me and a small bright cumulus cloud in the Northwest. Thus it must have been at or below the cloud level. A few seconds later it disappeared, apparently into the cloud. Against the sky it was very bright but against the cloud it was dark. This could be produced by a grey body which would be bright against the relatively dark sky, but dark against the bright cloud. Alternatively, if the object were half in sunlight and half shadowed the sunlit part might have had no detectable contrast with the cloud while the shadowed part appeared dark I immediately telephoned the U.S. Weather Bureau (2-3 miles S.W. of the Observatory). They were estimating the cloud to be 6000 feet above the ground. Now estimates of cloud heights are rather risky, so I obtained their observations of temperature and dew point, and from the known lapse rates of these quantities in a convective atmosphere, calculated the cloud base to be at 12,000 feet. I believe this latter figure to be the more accurate one because later in the afternoon the cumulus clouds thickened but at all times remained well above the tops of our nearby mountains. These are about 6000 feet above us.
Thus, having some idea of the object's elevation and its angular diameter through the binoculars (about equivalent to a dime seen at 50 feet with the naked eye), I calculated its size to be 3 to 5 feet for a height of 6 - 12 thousand feet, and a zenith angle of about 45o. This size estimate could easily be in error by a factor or two, but I am sure it was a small object.
The clouds were drifting from the SW to the NE at right angles to the motion of the object. Therefore, it must have been powered in some way. I did not time it but for that elevation I would estimate its speed to be about 100 miles per hour, perhaps as high as 200 m.p.h. This too means a powered craft. However, I could hear no engine noise.