UFO History Has Come Full Circle
By Larry W. Bryant firstname.lastname@example.org
While the "jury" (i.e., in the Court of Public Opinion) continues to weigh the evidence and value of the recent Mexican military's airborne encounter with "universal" flying objects, let's put the case in perspective:
The other day, I had a lunchtime rendezvous with UFO-disclosure advocate Stephen G. Bassett, along with a mutual lawyer friend who'd asked us to welcome to the fold a retired businessman from Baltimore. We gathered at the restaurant housed in the Hilton hotel in Gaithersburg, Md. (yes, the very site of the Bassett- directed X-Conference in mid-May).
During our documentary show-and-tell, the businessman passed around photo-copies of a heretofore unpublicized, two-page, "RESTRICTED" USAF telegram, dated Dec. 21, 1952. (The date has special meaning for the businessman; for in that same year, he and a couple of fellow students had witnessed a classic "flying saucer" in the skies of Tennessee.)
Since the teletype message retains the identity of the two fighter-pilot witnesses to the nighttime encounter, we can conclude that the printout of this raw-intelligence report somehow escaped the privacy sanitization that occurred upon USAF Project Blue Book records' transfer to the U. S. National Archives and Records Service. Indeed, according to the businessman, he'd acquired his copy from a former communications NCO of the 4418th Communications Group at Donaldson Air Force Base in Greenville, S.C. Apparently, the airman had purloined this copy as a souvenir from the worldwide UFO "flap" of 1952.
From its origin (the 62d Troop Carrier Wing at Larson AFB in the state of Washington), the message went to the following addressees: Director of Intelligence, HQ, USAF, Washington 25, D.C.; Tactical Air Command, Langley AFB, Va.; Air Technical Intelligence Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio; Ent AFB, Colo.; 18th Air Force, Donaldson AFB; and the 25th Air Defense, McChord AFB, Wash.
Note: in my following transcription of the message's content, I've translated, for readability, some of the abbreviated terminology (e.g., for "PD," I've used an actual period; for "CMA," I've used an actual comma; for the word "FR," I've used "from"; for "RG," I've used "range" -- etc.):
R E S T R I C T E D /TCWOIN 12-282. Wright-Patterson AFB, ATTN: ATI-AA-2C. FLYOBRPT [flying object report].
One [meaning paragraph No. 1 of the prescribed reporting format -- LWB]. Large round white object, larger than any known type of aircraft. Dim reddish-white light coming from two windows. No trail or exhaust observed. At one time, at least half-dozen in formation scattered. Could reverse direction almost instantly. Propulsion system unknown. 240 knots estimated constant. Did a chandelle in front. Starboard turn. Head-on and then would suddenly stop and be pulling off in direction of aircraft. F-94 banked away and lost visual contact. Radar contact lost by going out of range.
Two. 1915 hours Pacific time. Observed 10 Dec 52 for 15 minutes.
Three. Visual and airborne radar/APG-33/ A/C 230K. 26,000 -- 27,000 feet. F-94B.
Four. 40 miles east of Larson, 118 degrees, 40 minutes N; 47 degrees, 20 minutes W. Near town of Odessa, Wash. 18,000 yards, 150 yards port, degrees to 90 degrees. Level to 20 degrees below.
Five. Lt. Harsh: 600 hours, 300 hours in F-94, 2-and-one-half years' service. Lt. Batison: 500 hours, 100 hours in F-94, 5 years' service. No glasses, several years since last illness. Reaction by Lt. Harsh: curious, cautious, excited.
Six. Cloud cover 3,000 feet below, clear above, no moon. 270 at 75 knots.
Nine. Could not contact GCA [ground control approach] station immediately and their WPN [weapon?] bent. Radar contact 15 minutes after lost sight. Took action to avoid.
Ten. One F-94 30 miles, one F-94 at 75 miles, both at lower altitude.
So what have we here: a case of dancing, glowing, high-flying pelicans larger than any known aircraft - or playful alien spacecraft flaunting their advanced technology; or, maybe, in other avian terms, merely some evidence that not all crows are black?
For the answer, we may have to fast-forward to Mexico 52 years hence. Imagine what a different world (and world view) we'd have today had that no-longer-latent USAF report been publicly released a few weeks after its birth. And imagine some sheer irony here: that very same South American country that had played host to a (USAF-recovered) crash-landed flying saucer just across the border from Del Rio, Texas, in early December 1950 now has become the cutting edge of the long-overdue official disclosure that some of the reported UFOs constitute hardware from elsewhere.
Finally, let your imagination in this situation fuel your response in case you ever get invited to lunch by some UFOIA- committed researchers.
[Update: Since e-dispatching this essay, I've heard from an Oregon-based researcher, as follows:
"Larry: 'My weapon is bent ' - [an expression] as used by our light bomb wing in Korea at the time of the sighting you sent me - meant, usually, that all ordnance had been expended and the aircraft would not be able to effectively intercept a ground target.
A secondary meaning was that there had been an equipment malfunction which prevented use of the ordnance.
IF someone was playing games and creating a hoax report, he at least knew the slang of the day."
To which I've replied:
"Well, sir, thanks indeed for this clarification. I feel that the report is genuine (the Baltimore gentleman also showed me a couple of documents - including an interim performance appraisal on the master sergeant who'd purloined the TWX - that dealt with the airman's career)."
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