The Lubbock Lights case.

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posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 01:24 AM
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The Lubbock Lights

Lets look back to a great case in ufology.

For those of you who do not know what "the Lubbock Lights" incident actually was I'll briefly explain. This is a old case but still a good one hope you enjoy the read.

At 9:10 p.m. on Aug. 25, 1951, Dr. W. I. Robinson, professor of geology at the Texas technological College, stood in the back yard of his home in Lubbock, Texas and chatted with two colleagues. The other men were Dr. A. G. Oberg, a professor of chemical engineering, and Professor W. L. Ducker, head of the department of petroleum engineering. All three members of the group seen the lights, They said there are about 30 lights in a arc formation (or a "V" shape as we would call it now). They manged to provide some input as far as photos go.





The three professors became determined to view the objects again and perhaps discover their identity. On September 5, 1951, all three men, along with two other professors from Texas Tech, were sitting in Dr. Robinson's frontyard when the lights flew overhead.

According to Dr. Grayson Mead the lights "appeared to be about the size of a dinner plate and they were greenish-blue, slightly fluorescent in color. They were smaller than the full moon at the horizon. There were about a dozen to fifteen of these lights...they were absolutely circular...it gave all of us...an extremely eerie feeling." Mead claimed that the lights could not have been birds, but he also stated that they "went over so fast...that we wished we could have had a better look."

The professors observed one formation of lights flying above a thin cloud at about 2,000 feet (610 m); this allowed them to calculate that the lights were traveling at over 600 miles per hour (970 km/h).[3]



While investigating the Lubbock Lights, Ruppelt also learned that several people in and around Lubbock claimed to have seen a "flying wing" moving over the city. Among the witnesses was the wife of Dr. Ducker, who reported that in August 1951 she had observed a "huge, soundless flying wing" pass over her house. Ruppelt knew that the US Air Force did possess a "flying wing" jet bomber, and he felt that at least some of the sightings had been caused by the bomber, although he could not explain why, according to the witnesses, the wing made no sound as it flew overhead.




What was concluded by the Air Force investigation. (Sorry if it's a long snippet)

In late September 1951, Lieutenant Ruppelt read about the Lubbock Lights and decided to investigate them (Ruppelt, 98). Project Blue Book, founded in 1948 as Project Sign, was the Air Force's official research group assigned to investigate UFO sightings. Ruppelt traveled to Lubbock and interviewed the professors, Carl Hart, and others who claimed to have witnessed the lights. Ruppelt's conclusion at the time was that the professors had seen a type of bird called a plover (Ruppelt, 110). The city of Lubbock had installed new vapor street lights in 1951, and Ruppelt believed that the plovers, flying over Lubbock in their annual migration, were reflecting the new street lights at night. Witnesses who supported this assertion were T.E. Snider, a local farmer who on August 31, 1951 had observed some birds flying over a drive-in movie theater; the bird's undersides were reflected in the light (Clark, 345). Another witness, Joe Bryant, had been sitting outside his home with his wife on August 25 - the same night on which the three professors had first seen the lights. According to Bryant, he and his wife had seen a group of lights fly overhead, and then two other flights. Like the professors, they were at first baffled by the objects, but when the third group of lights passed overhead they began to circle the Bryant's home. Mr. Bryant and his wife then noticed that the lights were actually plovers, and could hear them as well (Ruppelt, 101-102). In addition, Dr. J. Allen Hynek, a professor of astronomy and one of Project Blue Book's scientific consultants, contacted one of the Texas Tech professors in 1959 and learned that the professor, after careful research, had concluded that he had actually been observing the plovers (Clark, 349).

However, not everyone agreed with this explanation. William Hams, the chief photographer for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, took several nighttime photos of birds flying over Lubbock's vapor street lights and found that he could not duplicate Hart's photos - the images were too dim to be developed (Clark, 346). Dr. J.C. Cross, the head of Texas Tech's biology department, ruled out the possibility that birds could have caused the sightings (Clark, 346). A game warden Ruppelt interviewed felt that the sightings could not have been caused by plovers, due to their slow speed (50 miles per hour, 80 km/h) and tendency to fly in groups much smaller than the number of objects reported by eyewitnesses (Ruppelt, 102). The warden did admit that an unusually large number of plovers had been seen in the fall of 1951. Dr. Mead, who had observed the lights, strongly disputed the plover explanation: "these objects were too large for any bird...I have had enough experience hunting and I don't know of any bird that could go this fast we would not be able to hear...to have gone as fast as this, to be birds, they would have to have been exceedingly low to disappear quite so quickly" (Clark, 344). Curiously, in his bestselling 1956 book The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, Ruppelt himself would come to reject the plover hypothesis, but frustratingly refrained from explaining what the lights in fact were:

"They weren't birds, they weren't refracted light, but they weren't spaceships. The lights ... have been positively identified as a very commonplace and easily explainable natural phenomenon. It is very unfortunate that I can't divulge ... the way the answer was found.... Telling the story would lead to [the identity of the scientist who "finally hit upon the answer"] and ... I promised the man complete anonymity" (Ruppelt, 110).


The bolded text at the end seems a little fishy for me as his personal opinion. I guess "they found" out what it was but promised not to divuldge the info. Just seems odd me to me.

The Lubbock Lights is a great story in UFO culture and ufology in general. The 50s-60s there were waves of sightings in those times. In my opinion this is a great one.
I do not fully agree with the conclusion but I also wasn't there and didn't do the investigation. Still a great story and I believe is was somekind of craft. Not saying alien, but could have been some advance air plane. Who knows? Still a great story.

The Lubbock Lights

-SAP-

ETA: Just now realizing there is a thread done on this by Karl12 (Should have figured
)
www.abovetopsecret.com...
www.abovetopsecret.com...
edit on 11-12-2012 by SloAnPainful because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 04:46 AM
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reply to post by SloAnPainful
 


Given the information in the OP, the images appear typical of migratory birds flying in formation... whether they were plovers or not, who knows??

There are well formed theories as to why birds do this, the most broadly accepted explaination is being for energy conservation while in flight.

This statement caught my attention...


"V or U shaped"... It so happens that the "J" shape formation is just as, if not more common than the "V" formation and can be easily mistaken as a "U" when observing birds in flight.

I guess it's easy to right it off as just birds... considering the era, they are remarkable images that couldn't be replicated at the time and the case is worthy of alternative thoughts/explainations.



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 05:04 AM
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reply to post by Perhaps
 


Except that a professional photographer was unable to get images of the supposed plovers lit up at night by the streetlights because there wasn't enough light to take pictures of them. You'd need a species of luminescent bird previously undiscovered to explain the brightness. The "V" and other flying formation shapes are practical for many reasons, not just random eccentricities of birds alone, also.



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 05:55 AM
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Northrop YB 10 flying wing first flight 1949 is a possible explanation

en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 08:03 AM
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Originally posted by dashdespatch
Northrop YB 10 flying wing first flight 1949 is a possible explanation

en.wikipedia.org...


The V shape seems a little too swept back for the delta bomber, aside from that not explaining the light sources or lack of sound either.



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 08:15 AM
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reply to post by chunder
 


The lack of sound could be explained by atmospheric conditions wind direction aircraft spped etc



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 08:23 AM
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The flying wing flew between Edwards AFB California to Andrews AFB Washington DC ,Lubbock TX is nearly spot on a direct flightpath between the two



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 12:20 PM
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Not to mention Reese AFB was there during that time. I grew up in the area and though I never saw the Lights, many people I knew did see them. An uncle who was an avid bird hunter saw them and said that birds in formation don't hold that tightly to the formation and that he thought it was something man-made being tested at either Reese AFB or Cannon AFB in nearby Clovis, NM.

Nice thread!



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 12:38 PM
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Originally posted by SloAnPainful
At 9:10 p.m. on Aug. 25, 1951, Dr. W. I. Robinson, professor of geology at the Texas technological College, stood in the back yard of his home in Lubbock, Texas and chatted with two colleagues. The other men were Dr. A. G. Oberg, a professor of chemical engineering, and Professor W. L. Ducker, head of the department of petroleum engineering. All three members of the group seen the lights, They said there are about 30 lights in a arc formation (or a "V" shape as we would call it now).
According to Ruppelt, they did not see a V-shape like that seen in the photos, which were taken by a freshman:

Lubbock Lights

Curiously, the Texas Tech professors claimed that the photos did not represent what they had seen, since their objects had flown in a "u" formation instead of the "v" formation depicted in Hart's photos (Ruppelt, 106).


This comment by Ruppelt is very frustrating, since he claims to know what they were but can't/won't say:

"They weren't birds, they weren't refracted light, but they weren't spaceships. The lights ... have been positively identified as a very commonplace and easily explainable natural phenomenon. It is very unfortunate that I can't divulge ... the way the answer was found.... Telling the story would lead to [the identity of the scientist who "finally hit upon the answer"] and ... I promised the man complete anonymity" (Ruppelt, 110).

edit on 11-12-2012 by Arbitrageur because: clarification



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 12:45 PM
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It was not a Flying Wing because they were no longer flying in August or September of 1951.

“The sole prototype reconnaissance platform, the YRB-49A, first flew on 4 May 1950. After only 13 flights, testing ended abruptly on 26 April 1951. It was then flown back to Northrop's headquarters from Edwards Air Force Base on what would be its last flight. There, this remaining flying wing sat abandoned at the edge of Northrop's Ontario airport for more than two years. It was finally ordered scrapped on 1 December 1953.”

www.nationalmuseum.af.mil...

ps: birds don’t look like glowing Frisbees, just another excuse for the military cover up.



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 01:22 PM
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reply to post by spiritualarchitect
 


You believe everything the airforce tells you do you?



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 01:27 PM
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Originally posted by Arbitrageur
This comment by Ruppelt is very frustrating, since he claims to know what they were but can't/won't say:

"They weren't birds, they weren't refracted light, but they weren't spaceships. The lights ... have been positively identified as a very commonplace and easily explainable natural phenomenon. It is very unfortunate that I can't divulge ... the way the answer was found.... Telling the story would lead to [the identity of the scientist who "finally hit upon the answer"] and ... I promised the man complete anonymity" (Ruppelt, 110).

He thought they were... moths.


In the revised edition of 1959, chapitre 20:

The men who made the original sightings stuck by the case and furnished the "more detailed objective observational data" the Air Force speaks of. The mysterious lights appeared again and instead of looking for something high in the air they looked for something low and found the solution. The world famous Lubbock Lights were night flying moths reflecting the bluish-green light of a nearby row of mercury vapour street lights.


But in a long article for True Magazine, 1967:

The project files carry the Lubbock lights as "unknown." The pictures were never proved to be a hoax. Maybe, under intense excitement, one man in a thousand can shoot three unblurred shots with a hand-held Kodak 35 in four seconds. I'll believe it when I see it done. But so far as what the professors saw, I think that a 10-gauge shotgun would have brought down the Lubbock saucers in a shower of feathers.

www.seektress.com...



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 01:29 PM
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"The professors observed one formation of lights flying above a thin cloud at about 2,000 feet (610 m); this allowed them to calculate that the lights were traveling at over 600 miles per hour (970 km/h)."

Northrop yb-49 top speed 495mph ,pretty close



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 01:50 PM
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Even more interesting, in Shockingly Close to the Truth : Confessions of a Grave-Robbing Ufologist James Moseley wrote (scanned from p. 56):

img24.imageshack.us...
edit on 2012-12-11 by nablator because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 03:00 PM
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Great feedback. That's why I threw this thread up. Just to see what everyone else thought about the theory of the Plover birds. They would have to have been pretty large birds to be noticed in those lights and at that size. (Given the image could have been enlarged to show the lights better.

Now I am not sure what to think about it personally, it isn't the typical dismissal by the Air Force. It seems like a possible cause of the lights themselves. I am just not all that convinced.

I wish there were more witness to see if anything broke out of that "V" shape formation just to see if it could have been.

Again great feedback. Stars for posting your thoughts.


-SAP-
edit on 11-12-2012 by SloAnPainful because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 03:15 PM
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Ruppelt changed his version (two or three times) as the professors changed theirs.

In Jerome Clark's The UFO Book - Encyclopedia of the Extraterrestrial, p. 349 :

A clue to the scientist's identity appears in an undated Blue Book document (circa 1960), but it also contradicts Ruppelt's assertion about what the objects were not: "In 1959 Dr. J. Allen Hynek contacted one of the professors at Texas Tech regarding [the] case. This professor informed Dr. Hynek that he had conducted an extensive study of the Lubbock sighting5 and determined that they were definitely [of] birds.”

All things considered, this seems a reasonable explanation—not a perfect one, perhaps, but better than any other yet proposed. It may not apply. however, to Hart’s photographs, which the professors insisted did not depict what they saw. As Ruppelt notes, The professors had reported soft, glowing lights yet the photos showed what should have been extremely bright Lights. Hart reported a perfect formation while the professors, except for the first flight, reported an unorderly group. There was no way to explain this disagreement iii the arrangement of the lights.”

So everyone agrees the photographs may very well be of something else than what the professors saw.

Now let's look closely at the famous unexplained photographs:

(Best scan that I could find on the web here: www.ufocasebook.com...)

A


B + rotation


The lights on photographs A and B superimpose perfectly! Isn't that amazing?


But... but.. Carl Hart didn't shoot his photos with a DSLR in burst mode. He had to pull the lever of his Kodak, a manual operation that took some time. The first INSTAMATIC equipped with spring driven power film advance (a mechanism that wasn't blazing fast either) was available only in the sixties according to this chart:
www.kodak.com...

Hart said he only had time to take "two photographs of the second flight, and when the lights came back a third time, he took three more." ( Source: ufoscience.org... )

Did the UFOs wait, not moving at all, for him to take the second picture ?
edit on 2012-12-11 by nablator because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 03:23 PM
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Originally posted by nablator
Did the UFOs wait, not moving at all, for him to take the second picture ?


Are you implying that because there is no motion blur on that second photo?

Not disagreeing, just curious is all. Because in a sense I agree. It would seem as a still photo as opposed to photo A where you can clearly see motion blur...

-SAP-



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 03:58 PM
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Originally posted by SloAnPainful
Are you implying that because there is no motion blur on that second photo?

Motion blur is very difficult to avoid at 1/10 second exposure with a hand-held camera (there wasn't any image stabilization like we have now even on the cheapest cameras). Maybe he was exceptionally lucky to have a perfectly steady arm or he propped the camera against the window frame... not what he said, but possible.


Not disagreeing, just curious is all. Because in a sense I agree. It would seem as a still photo as opposed to photo A where you can clearly see motion blur...

The perfectly matching pattern between photos A and B is incredible because there should be at least some deformation due to the change in perspective if the formation was moving at all as described between the two successive photos, and especially since we see the lights are not in a static position in photos C and D taken in the same conditions at their next overflight.
edit on 2012-12-11 by nablator because: missing /quote



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 04:44 PM
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Ruppelt was right about that: technically, the photos are too good to be true. No one else managed to take a half-decent photo because the objects were too dim... but Hart's photos showed the lights with a very high contrast.

I think the perfect light pattern match in photos A and B is is only possible if the lights hovered, perfectly motionless, for a second or two or if Carl Hart hoaxed his famous photos.

He could have done it very simply, punched holes in a cardboard with a pencil and taken pictures of it against the light, looking just as dark as the night sky. Only he should have changed the cardboard between photo A and B to make the series more believable.

He had a motive: he was 18, the professors at his college were getting all the attention from the press... It was just a prank. Then with the involvement of the USAF it was difficult to back off, especially since the ATIC experts seemed to endorse the "not hoaxed" hypothesis. Also he "might have made three or four hundred dollars total over the years". Not much, (maybe equivalent to between 2600 and 3500 of todays' dollars) but it would certainly have been embarrassing to confess and have publishers ask him for a refund.
kevinrandle.blogspot.com...

So in final analysis there could have been a real mystery and several false mysteries in the sky, plus a mystery that wasn't in the sky but on cardboard. There are good arguments for and against all of them, no one really knows, it's all conjecture.
edit on 2012-12-11 by nablator because: spelling



posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 05:07 PM
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Originally posted by dashdespatch
reply to post by spiritualarchitect
 


You believe everything the airforce tells you do you?


Sometimes, like when it comes to attaching rows of lights to an obsolete aircraft and then pretending it was moths. To what purpose would it serve in hiding the flight of a known aircraft? There was nothing secret about the flying wing. Silent flying boomerangs and V’s are another story. Ask Phoenix.






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