reply to post by Rubicant13
I finally found a second source for some of the information in the OP's Mysterious Universe website link.
SKYLOOK - The UFO Monthly - MUFON UFO Network - May, 1974
This gives enough information to make some double-check calculations. Using the data confirmed by this source and the OP's link, the sphere shell is
7.96 inches (202.2 mm) in diameter, made of magnetic ASTM alloy 431 stainless steel, approximately 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) think, and weighted 21.34 pounds
(9.68 kg). Using the known density of stainless steel alloy 431 (7700 kg/m3), a 202.2 mm external diameter sphere with a 180.33 mm internal diameter
(10.93 mm or 0.430 inch wall thickness) would exactly weigh 9.68 kg. Considering these stories were filtered through "Main Stream Media" (MSM), I can
see where a thickness of 0.43 inches would be reported as about 1/2 inch.
I also investigated the x-ray source voltage needed to expose objects internal to a 11 mm thick stainless steel sphere and found that at least a 300
kV x-ray would be required consistent with the original story. See more information here:
At this point in my analysis what concerns me is that just the sphere shell equals the reported weight leaving no room for the masses of internal
components. Lacking more scientific data my calculations suggest something could be wrong with this story but do not prove anything.
Next I compared the details reported by MUFON in May 1974 and the OP's Mysterious Universe (MU) story and found several discrepancies. The MUFON
story reports the sphere being found on April 6, 1974 but the MU story reports it being found on May 26, 1974 then contradicts this date by reporting
on a St. Petersburg Times story run on April 12, 1974, and contradicts this date again by reporting 1976 as the year for paranormal research. The
MUFON story reports that the Navy examined the sphere a few days after April 6, 1974 but the MU story reports the Navy contacted the Betz family and
the first MSM story did not run until April 12, 1974. And the inconsistencies continue, the MUFON story reports Mrs. Betz told MUFON Director Walt
Andrus the sphere has 3 or 4 smaller spheres inside with its north and south magnetic poles separated by 150 degrees while the MU story reports the
Navy x-ray images showed 2 round objects inside and that it had 4 magnetic poles, 2 positive and 2 negative (+ & - v.s. N & S ??). I will stop my
discrepancy analysis here because it proves nothing except stories rewritten many times over 35 years can always be expected to contain some factual
The MUFON story reports the sphere being found on April 6, 1974, exactly 2 weeks before the National Enquirer's "UFO Blue Ribbon Panel" of experts,
that included Dr. J. Allen Hynek, convened in New Orleans on April 20 & 21, 1974 to determine if anyone deserved to win the $50,000 USD prize for
verified UFO evidence. The MUFON story also reports that Dr. J. Allen Hynek decided the sphere is of man-made origin, but still mysterious. Dr. J.
Allen Hynek's hands-on examination of the sphere is specifically excluded from the MU story. This major omitted fact plus my earlier object mass
uncertainty, and the Betz family driven publicity just before the prize panel met in New Orleans, leave many credibility questions in my mind.
In summary, I do not believe enough evidence survives today to conclusively determine if the Betz Mystery Sphere was a hoax designed to capture the
National Enquirer's $50,000 UFO evidence reward or something more significant. Nevertheless, I think I showed that enough discrepancies exist in most
incarnations of the Betz sphere story that we should not blindly accept the spectacular claims now associated with the Betz Mystery Sphere.
edit on 8/10/2012 by DrZrD because: Corrected spelling