International UFO Reporter v30


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The International UFO Reporter (IUR) of the Center for UFO Studies has been published continuously since 1976. Most observers consider IUR the leading English-language UFO journal, and the articles in IUR have chronicled the changes in the UFO phenomenon and the interests of those who have studied it.

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International UFO Reporter v30

  1. 1. Volume 30, Number I International UFO Reporter ·THE AR..M/ !<E>ER.V£S. ARno�v. wGr. ff. v}.: PENN fJJt. IMT l lJf"l ;0 11 vERY MV t-1 A:-AR.r vi 1-{f IJ.vitOI/...1$. Af111 IT .JJl r•ttp_r1v·�11" /)r1!J/: ;1F VJJ-/r LE4.1f, r�:.;, wAr; At"ff2. 1 S(-1 ,; -;I" f tti71W t-rr .·[> TMC.I� 11--l.A f J-AD Tiff 013Jft ., 1-r. 1, u.1rl, vMC"Vrr?c /t./lfE. 9/ ">[ .> • ))JOVE , �. I "� :;f• Ttfl- 1Vf 3EfiJ J1AN1 f1R�1/ fi(L A;, oNE J!Ai! .4 w�Ji-;" dAr7 "1/ .,.._, ll . Artist ·s conception (above) by Charles Hanna of the object that crashed near Kecksbtug, Pennsylvania. December 9. 1965. Statement o.fja:::::: musician .Jern Betters (left). who was ordered at gunpoint to leave the area q(ler he and hisji-iends sail a 1(//ge acorn-shaped object on the back ofan Army.flatbed tmck the night of the alleged UFO crash. Nearbr resident Bill Bulebush sa w the object John Podesta, While !-louse chief of staff under descend and located it be.Jore the militarv arrived President Clinton,backs the Kecksbwg initiative. FORTY YEARS OF SECRECY: NASA, THE MILITARY, AND THE 1965 KECKSBURG CRASH
  2. 2. INTERNATIONALUFOREPORTEREditors:Jerome ClarkGeorge M. EberhartMark RodeghierContributing Editors:Bill ChalkerRichard F. HainesKe v in D. RandleJenny RandlesChris RutkowskiWeb site:www.cufos.orgE-mail:I n focenter@cu fos.orgAnswering machine: c/4��0 ()1-(773) 27 1 -3 6 1 1 191 - 1986FoRTY YEARS OF SECRECY: NASA, TilE MILITARY, Ai>;O THE 1965 I<ECKSBURG CRASH by Leslie Kean . . . . . . . . . . . . . .............. 3As GREAT A: E:IGMA AS THE UFOs THEMSELVES by Michael D. Swords ............................................... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10VE:"USJAN DREAMS by Jerome Clark ....... . . ....... . . . . . .. . . . . . . ................. . . ........ . . . ..... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....... . . . . . . . ........... . . . . . . . . . ......... 1300TY AND THE OODY SNATCHERS by Rober/ Duran/ ..... ...... . . . . ....... . . . .......... ........ . . . ....... . . . . . . ........ . . . . . . . . ........ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19PtJJLIP .1. KLASS, 1919-2005 by Jerome Clark . . . ...... . . . . . .................. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27Published in October 2005. ln!ernalional UFO Reporler ( I SSN 0720-174X) is pub­ Ill inois 60659. Address all s u bsc r i ptio n correspondence to lnler­l ish ed quarterl y by the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies, nalional UFO Reporter. 245 7 West Peterson Avenue. C hi cago .2457 West Peterson Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60659. All rights I l linois 60659.reserved. Reproduction without permiss i on is st rictl y prohibi ted . The lntemwional UFO Reporter is a benefit publicationCopyr ig ht © 2005 by the J. Allen Hynek Ce n ter for UFO Studies. ma iled to Associates of the Center for a co ntri bu t i on ofS25.00 orThird-class postage paid at Chicago. Illinois. more. Fo re ign Associates add S5.00 for de l i very All amounts in . A dvert i sem ents acc epted f publication i n this magazine do or U.S. funds. Other publications also ava ilable lor contributors ofnot n ecess ari ly refl ect th e v ic wpo i n tsofth e J. Allen H y ne k Center larger amounts. r:or deta i l s. write to the J . Allen Hyn ek Center lorfor UFO Studies. UFO Studies, 2457 West Peterson Avenue. Ch icago. I l linois Address all article submissions, letters to the editor, and 60659, USA.other editorial correspondence to lmemalional UFO Reporler. Postmaster: Sen d Form3579to CUFOS. 2457 West PetersonCenter lor UFO Studies. 2457 West Peterson Avenue. Ch icago, Avenue, Chicago. I l linois 60659. IUR + 30:1 2
  3. 3. FORTY YEARS OF SE CRE CY: NASA, THE MILITARY, AND THE 1965 KE CKSBURG CRASH BY LESLIE KEAT h i s December marks the -lOth anniversary ofone Rft fl fT n1r .. nr ,n,no ro 1 ... • •lrr-T- of the most thoroughly researched and intrigu­ ing crash/retrieval cases in America. Despite a top-notch mvcst1gat10n spannmg more thanthree decades and world-wide attention in recent years from·om thea new campaign probing the case, the Kecksburg, Pennsyl­ CreeiiSbwg Tribu11e-Revie11·. December 10, 1965.vania, UFO crash of 1 965 remains unsolved, due mainly tothe stubborn silence of American government agencies. firefighters, newspaper reporters, and a radio news d i rector U n l i ke the Roswell crash. this case has been relatively at radio station WHJB (who was on the scene taping inter­uncontaminated by commercial ism and the popular media. views )- describe the large mil itary and police presence atIt does not feature bodies found at the scene; it involves an the impact site and the cordoning o rf of the area. Observersatypical object. suggesting a range of explanations: and it provided detailed descriptions of an object being trans­incl udes many living itnesses. The central witnesses re­ ported out on a flatbed truck. Many witnesses have signedmain unknown to most people i nterested in UFOs, and none statements for investigator Stan Gordon of Greensburg,of them have benefited from coming forward. Also i n Pennsylvania. who has been working on the case for overcontrast t o t h e Roswell case, t h e dramatic m i litary response three decades. (See h i s website at the crash was reported by television. radio, and newspa­ To this day. no one knows what triggered the i n terest o fpers as it developed, and was witnessed by hundreds of the U . S . m i l itary, o r why the Army was s o intent o n hidingpeople who descended on the tiny town from miles around. the object that it threatened c i v i l ians with weapons. TheU n fortunately. no high-level Army, A i r Force, or intelli­ subsequent A i r Force denial that anything at a l l came downgence personnel involved with the Kccksburg retrieval have is even more perplexing, and has led to heated speculation.come forward in any way that can be or use to the case, as In the ensuing 40 years. members of the once tightly knitthey did for the Roswell case many years after it occurred. community i n rural Pennsylvania have been torn apart by the The sheer volume of witness and local news reports cont inuing unanswered questions about what happened. Asshow that on December 9. 1965, an object landed near the American citizens, they have not been granted the intorma­vil lage of Kecksburg, Pennsylvania, about40 miles south­ tion clue them by law under the Freedom o f l n formation Act.east of Pillsburgh, after being observed as a fireball in the This case addresses issues that go beyond the question ofsky across several U.S. states and Canada. Some Pennsylva­ determining the origin of the strange object that-as indi­nia residents saw the object moving slowly in the sky; others cated by so many accounts-was recovered by our govern­saw smoke and brilliant bluish-white lights l i k e an electric ment that night.arc when it first crashed. Five witnesses eventually provided H owever, two exciting breakthroughs occurred i n 2003independent, corroborated descriptions of the object and its that have moved the investigation forward many steps: aexact location in the woods. Dozens of others including scientists discovery of physical evidence showing that something crashed through the trees i n 1965 at the location Leslie Kean is an im•estigalive jour­ designated by witnesses; and the e l imination ofthe possibil­ nal is/ 111ho has published pieces ity that the object was a Russian satellite or any man-made related to the UFO suhjecl fur the object at all. according to the worlds leading authority on Boston Globe and the Providence Jour­ space systems. These two developments demolish the two n a l , and through 11·ide distrihution by preferred explanations used by the skeptics-that the object the Nell York Times and Knight Ridder­ was either a meteor (the Air Force explanation) or a Russian Tribune H1ire services. sate l l ite-and heighten the mystery by further reducing I U R + 30:1 3
  4. 4. ought to do it because the American people quite frankly can handle the truth; and we ought to do it because its the law. "Clinton Aide Slams Pentagons UFO Se­ crecy was the headline on the CNN story that day. "The new in itiative is not setting out to prove the existence ofaliens. Rather the group wants to legitimize the scientific investigation of unex­ plained aerial phenomena," C N reported. "Podesta was one of numerous political and The f CFi 1eam, including Larr)l Landmwn (far leji). Lee Helfrich ull media heavyweights on hand in Washington, (second from le/i). and Sian Gordon (ar righl), at a Washing/On, D.C., . f D.C., to announce a new group to gain access to press CO!?ference in Oc10ber 2003. secret government records about UFOs."possible conventional explanations. "UFO FALLS NEAR KECKSBURG" These breakthroughs occurred after the Sci Fi Channellaunched its historic UFO Advocacy I n itiative" in which, The CFi campaign could not have proceeded without thefor a few years, unprecedented resources were applied to the solid base o f meticulous work on the Kecksburg caseinvestigation of a UFO case. As an independent journalist, performed by researcher Stan Gordon for close to 40 years.I was asked by Larrry Landsman, Sci Fisdirector ofspecial Gordons curiosity was piqued when, as a teenager i nprojects, to spearhead an effort seeking new government nearby Greensburg, h e spent the evening o f December 9,records on a well-documented American U FO case that 1 965, glued to the radio and television as events unfolded.included the retrieval of physical evidence. The Kecksburg He heard reports that something crashed in the woods nearincident satisfied these and other criteria used to select a the tiny v i l lage of Kecksburg at approximately 4:45 p . m .case, and the Washington law firm Lobel, Nov ins & Lamont that evening. after being seen over a number o f other statescame on board to assist with FOIA appeals and lawsuits, i f and Canada. "Many persons in the Greensburg area saw thethey should become necessary. "This was, and s t i l l is, a phenomena. State pol ice say there is a fire in the Kecksburgfreedom of i n formation story," says Landsman. "Many area. They are investigating," said the 9 oclock news onwitnesses say something occurred that night. and so we KDKA radio in Pittsburgh.provided our support to those investigating." On his black-and-white TV, Gordon watched the local I n addition, a private investigator who formerly worked news and occasional special bulletins that broke into regularfor the congressional General Accounting Office and an programming to state that the m i litary had arrived on theindependent archival research fi rm joined the team, expand­ scene and that the area was cordoned off. A search wasing the scope of the investigation beyond F O I A . Working underway to locate the object.with the Washington pub! ic relations firm Podesta Mattoon, "Unidentified Flying Object Falls near Kecksburg,the core group undertaking this project called itself the Army Ropes offArea" exclaimed the front-page headl ine onCoalition for Freedom o f l n formation (Cfi ), for which I was the Greensburg Tribune-Review the next morning. Theappointed director of investigations. See our website at article said that "the area where the object landed waswww. i m mediately sealed off on the order of U . S . Army and State The CFi Kecksburg i n i t i a t i ve won the support o f Police officials, repo1tedly in anticipation of a close inspec­Washington insider John Podesta, President C l i nt o n s tion o fwhatever may have f llen." U . S . Army engineers and aformer chie f o f staffand member o f the 1 9 9 7 Moynihan scientists were brought in.Commission o n Protecting and Reducing Government "Excitement caused bySecrecy, who at the t i m e was a l a w professor at the apparent landing pro­Georgetown U n i versity and now heads the Center for duced a massive trafficAmerican Progress. Podesta was instrumental i n the de­ jam," as hundreds drovec l a s s i fication of800 m i l l i o n pages o f documcnts during to the site from surround­the Clinton a d m i n istration and i s an outspoken critic o f mg areas.u n necessary government secrecy. "This i n i tiative w i l l Tribune-Review re­he l p keep the pressure on," he explained. poner Robert Gatty in­ " I think i t s time to open the books on questions that terviewed an eight-year­have remained in the dark, on the question of government old boy who saw the Tribune-RevieH· reporterinvestigations of UFOs," Podesta told the media at C F i s object fall into the woods, Robert Catty (left) with newsfirst press conference launching the Kecksburg i n i t iative in and h i s mother, M r s . anchor B1yant Gumbel,October 2002. Its t i m e to find out what the truth really is Arnold Kalp, who saw host of the Sci Fi Channelthats out there. We ought to do it because its right; we blue smoke rising and documentm:v on Kecksburg. R + 30:1 4
  5. 5. alerted the authorities. Gattys December 10 story, head­ i n i t i a l l y excited by the mysterious event as was M u rphy,lined "Unidentified Flying Object Report Touches off Probe raises the poss i b i l ity that they too were visited by i n t i m i ­near Kecksburg," recounts that he was denied access to the dating officials.)site, by order of the Army. After airing the documentary, M urphy clammed up and Gattys stories were quickly superseded by reports in would no longer talk about what had i n i t i a l l y been the storynumerous late-edition papers with the headlines "Searchers of his l i fetime, according to his wife. Yet M u rphy had noF a i l to F i n d Object " and "Fireball a Meteor, Astronomer idea how important his special documentary report wouldExplains." Reports said that 25 state policemen and mem­ become to i n vestigators years later, providing an intriguing,bers of Army and A i r Force searched a 75-acre area until 2 first-hand window into the drama as it unfolded. The reso­a.m. and found nothing. The A i r Force explained the inci­ lute reporter did everything he possibly could to probe anddent as "a meteor or meteors," adding that "there has been document the story. In the beginning of the piece, forno evidence of space debris . . . and all aircraft and missiles example, he provides the crucial fact that "the control towerhave been accounted for." at the Greater Pittsburgh A i rport definitely confirmed the In a recent interview, Gatty said that his editor sent fact that there was an object in the sky at that time, 13him out that night to cover "the story of the century," and minutes before 5 . "that he i s convinced something did i n deed come down in "Object i n the Woods" chronicles Murphys move­the Kecksburg woods. "The Army appeared to be pro­ ments and encounters throughout the evening i n great deta i l .tecting something," he wrote in a 200 3 statement for a At 8:30 p.m., after arriving on the scene at Kecksburg, heC F i press conference. "At this point in time, nearly 40 saw State Police Fire Marshal Carl Metz and another inves­years later, what poss i b l y could be the reason for continu­ tigator go into the woods with a Geiger counter and flash­ing this cover-up?" light, returning up the h i l l 1 6 minutes later. W h i le Metz Report e r .John M u rphy, headed for his car, M urphy stopped him where no news director for local radio sta­ one else could hear and asked if he had found anything. "He tion WI-IJB. made it down to the looked puzzled for a second and said, I m not sure, Murphy site before the authorities ar­ says in the broadcast. M urphy then decided to ask the rived, in response to a nood of question i n a different way. "After you make your report to c a l l s from alarmed citizens to the captain, do you think you or the captain, perhaps. may the station. 1-lis former w i fe have something to tell me? And he [Metz] said, · You better Bonnie M i l slagle ( M urphy died get your information from the Army." Sounding a bit in 1 96 9 ) and W H J B office man­ stunned by this statement, Murphy makes the point that i t ager Mabel Mazza both later was "very unusual for the fire marshal, examining a fire in Mabel lvfaz::a reported that Murphy had pho­ almost a clear blue sky," to turn him overto the U n i ted States tographed the object. Army, indicating that something there in the woods "showed "He got down there before the police, before any of the some significance of m i l i tary value."armed forces were there,"said M i l slaglc. "l-Ie called me and A little later, at the Greensburg State Police barracks,told me hed gotten pictures of it. but some of the film had Murphy reports that he saw members of the anny and the a i rbeen confiscated. But hed gotten one roll through." force there i n u n i form, along w i t h Carl Metz. The captain Mazza says she saw one picture. "It was very clark and told him that he had an official statement for the record: theit was with a lot of trees around and everything. And I dont state pol ice had conducted a thorough search and "there wasknow how far away from the site he was. But I did see a nothing whatsoever in the woods." M u rphy called this in topicture of a sort of a cone-like thing. I t s the only time I ever W I - I J B headquarters for broadcast during the stations on­saw it," she said. going news coverage of unfolding events. When Metz and In the weeks that followed, M u rphy became obsessed others then got ready to leave the barracks and return to thewith the case and developed a radio documentary called wooded area a second time. Metz told M urphy that he could"Object i n the Woods that included interviews conducted go with the group to the location.that night. One day, he received an unexpected visit from While Murphy waited in his carlo follow the caravan ofauthorities i n plain clothes. W H J B employee Linda Foschia vehicles heading to Kecksburg, a state police officer camerecal l s that some of Murphys tapes were confiscated; no from the barracks and approached him. We got somethingone knows what happened to the photographs. A week out there." the o fficer told the radio news director, onlyafter this visit, which left him at first very agitated and then moments after the release of the offic ial statement to theuncharacteristically despondent and depressed, M urphy contrary. "Its blue and its pulsating and theres a light onaired a censored version of the original documentary. it," he said, adding that the military wanted to go see thisSome interviewees had requested he remove them from pulsating light. Murphy notes that this report matchedthe broadcast clue to fears of getting i n trouble with the earlier eyewitness descriptions of blue l ights emanatingpolice and the Army. M u rphy explained on the air. (The from the woods right after the object landed and that, i n fact,sudden fear of these previously forthcoming sources, several people said they saw a light. "I myself did not see any I U R + 30:1 5
  6. 6. Pholos of damaged lrees near rhe crash localion 1rhich were used by scienlisls in 2003 lo locale rhe sire and conducl a .forensic invesligalion §-o revealing new. phvsical evidence......00 young John Hays watched a spectacle of flashlights, cars. and trucks going into the woods w h i l e m i l i tary officials gathered in h i s living room downstairs, talking in small particular light that I could have definitely said was the light groups and using h i s parents· telephone. These are j ust a few everybody was referring to," he adds. ofthe many independent reports Gordon acquired following When they finally arrived back at the scene of the crash, the event, all in great detai I. Metz firmly forbade Murphy to accompany them into the Later that night, witnesses saw an object transported woods, and, despite Murphys pleading for permission out of the area at great speed on the back of a m i I itary flatbed based on his earlier invitation, Metz offered no explanation tractor-trailer truck. "Not only did we see the flatbed going for the sudden change. up empty, we saw the flatbed coming down-loaded," reports Mike Slater, who said that Army officials asked h i m t o provide false directions t o people looking for the crash T H E WIT NESSES site. Sometimes these officials pointed guns at civi lians During the following decades. Stan Gordon, interviewing when they were too close to the barricades. countless people with varying levels of involvement. be­ Jazz musician Jerry Betters said he was harshly ordered came increasingly unable to accept the official explanation at gunpoint to leave the area after he and h i s friends caught that what was seen in the sky was a meteor. and that nothing a glimpse of an acorn-shaped object, "a little bigger than a at all came down. For example, Pennsylvania residents saw Volkswagen,· on the back of an Army flatbed truck as i t the object moving slowly and making turns, as i f under struggled u p through a field. For some reason, i t was not intell igent control. Randy Overly told Gordon that the ful l y covered. "I could see this hieroglyphic stutTall on the object passed about 200 feet over h i s head and stayed level, back," Betters said. "I would swear on the B ible and take a maintaining the same height the whole time, moving about lie detector test," he wrote in a notarized statement with a as fast as a single-engine plane. The acorn-shaped, brownish drawing, for one o f C Fis FOIA requests to the Army. object made a hissing sound as it spewed greenish fire from its rear, which terrified the young Overly and his friend. B i ll Bulebusb said he was working on his car in nearby Mammoth when he saw the object hesitate and make a turn before descending into the woods. He and other observers saw the object go down slowly, as i f controlled. Hundreds of people, along with the media, w itnessed di fferent aspects of the extensive m i litary and state police presence in the area that night. Fireman Bob B i tner saw a small convoy of m i l itary trucks going into the ravine and coming out later, and was refused permission to go into the woods himself. From his nearby upstairs bedroom window, I U R + 30:1 6
  7. 7. F i refighter James Romansky saw the flatbed truck "it was like no object he had ever seen before" and he wasspeeding down the h i l l i n a m i litary convoy, past the ordered not to talk about it. Burns says Metz wasnt reveal­Kecksburg firehouse. "I and many others could see the ing everything he by keeping the details secret. H eobject and its shape under the tarpaulin. There is no meteor­ wouldnt say what it was-only that i t was l i k e nothing heite i n the world that looks l i k e that," Romansky said in a had ever seen before. Both Kovaleskie and Burns toldrecent interview. Gordon on tape that Metz was highly respected, honest and Romansky, one of the very first to see the object on the had great integrity, and that they would believe anything heground before the m i l itary arrived, has been a crucial said.witness. providing a detailed description from a few feet In April 2005, Gordon interviewed another retired pol iceaway. He said he saw a bronze-colored, acorn-shaped object officer with an extensive and distinguished law enforcementwith no windows, doors, or seams, partia l l y buried in a background who verified that he also spoke to Metz, a goodgully. It was about I 0- 1 2 feet tall, large enough for a man to friend at the time, within a day or two of the incident. Metzstand up in, and 8- 1 2 feet i n diameter. Romansky said he told him that he had seen the object in the woods.saw strange symbols that looked like Egyptian hieroglyph­ "Multitudes of people had some association with t h i sics on the back, or "bumper area" of the acorn. He stayed on incident," says Gordon. Most do not accept t h e governmentsthe scene with a group of firemen unti I ordered to leave by explanation." I f this were simply a meteor, then thesetwo men in trench coats fol l owed by uniformed m i l i t ary. witnesses to the acorn-shaped object-in the sky, on the In August 1 987, Romansky was the first witness to take ground, and on the flatbed truck-are either lying or suffer­Gordon to the impact site, which turned out to be the same ing from some kind of mass hallucination. Neither possibil­area where Gordon had previously photographed damaged ity seems plausible.trees. Six months later. John Hayes esc011ed Gordon to the In the I 980s, investigators obtained copies or the A irsame location, where as a boy he had seen the disturbed area Force Project Blue Book fi le on the case. A handwrittenaround the wash the morning after the object was removed. memo stated that a "three man team" was sent out fromIn 1 988, Gordon received a tip that Bulebush had also Oakdale, Pennsylvania. "to investigate and pick up anapproached the object at close range. A rter providing Gordon object that started a fire." The tiles say that members of thewith a detailed description, Bulebush went into the woods to 662nd Radar Squadron searched until 2 a.m. and foundfind the location from a different entry point than that used Romansky. H e found a particulartree that he remembered, Maxwell A i r Force Base sent C F i the December 1965and pointed to the exact same spot in the streambed that H istorical Record of the 662nd Radar Squadron based i nRoman sky and Hayes had previously identified. Oakdale-the same document released t o Stan Gordon The most extraordinary part of t h i s story is that years earlier-that provided the relevant names. The squad­Romansky. Hayes, and Bulebush independently took Gor­ ron had a l i aison officer with Project Blue Book, and it wasdon to the same location, without having ever discussed the from the Oakdale base, about 50 miles from Kecksburg, thatcase among themselves, and each had no idea what the other the "three man team" was sent to search for the object. Onehad said to Gordon. The descriptions ofthe object provided officer, James Cashman, later called Blue Book headquar­by Romansky and Bulebush (who had never even met at the ters from Oakdale to report that nothing was found, accord­time) were extremely similar. Since then, three additional ing to the Blue Book files, although he was not one of thosepeople have reported to Gordon that they too saw the object sent out on the search.before it was removed from the ground, although they are Our private investigator was able to locate Cashmannot w i l l ing to go public. State Police Fire Marshal Carl Metz, whom John Murphyw itnessed going into the wooded impact area twice thatevening, apparently saw something extraordinary but keptthe i n formation close to h i s chest until his death in I 989.Former Pennsylvania State Trooper Bob Koveleskie, whowas working in eastern Pennsylvania that night, says that heasked Metz shortly after the event what had happened, andMetz rep I ied that he was sworn to secrecy by the Army andcouldnt discuss it. Years later. former Greensburg PoliceDispatcher Howard Burns reported i n a videotaped i n ter­view with Gordon that Metz took part in a group discussionat the G reensburg police station in the early 1 980s. Burnssays that Metz told the group that he was one of the first atthe Kecksburg impact area and initially thought he had came Sketch by Charles Hanna o the Kecksburg object seen in fupon a crashed aircraft due to the tree damage. According to a building at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. based onBurns, Metz reported that when he saw the object close up, an eyewitness account. IUR + 30:1 7
  8. 8. sometimes confusi ng reports are simply a question ofjumbled A model ()/the object that sits behind the memories after a l l these years. or if other factors are at play. Keckshurg Volunteer Is it possible that this small group was taken to a different Fire Department. made location from the one that was cordoned off by the Army, f the Unsolved or and that they search eel the wrong site? I fthis did occur, was tvlvsteries TV series in the state trooper who took the Air Force team to the wrong / 990. According to site instructed by someone to do so? J f so. the officers are James Romanst.y. the honestly reporting that nothing was found. Would it there­ buck, or bumper end fore have been possible-since Project Blue Book clid not (bottom of the acom). have access to cases higher than a secret clearance-that is too 1ride in Blue Book actually never knew about an object retrieved proportion to the rest. from another location by the Army? On the other hand, M u rphy reports seeing what ap­ peared to be members o f the 662nd Radar Squadron at the edge ofthe woods after leaving the police barracks where heand three other key personnel from the 662nd, and Gordon had tirst encountered them. If the lieutenant was one o ftheseinterviewed a fifth in 1 99 1 . Only one of these, a lieutenant men, he could not possibly have missed the surTounclingwhom I w i l l not name to respect h i s privacy, said he actually m i litary and civilian activity. Were these officers perhapswent out to search for the object that night. This officer said sworn not to reveal what happened for national securityhe did not observe any Army presence in the area, any excess reasons, and thus their cover stories have di f-ferences? Wecivilian activity, or the large spotlights in the woods ob­ dont know. and we wont know until the governmentserved by witnesses and reporter John Murphy. This seems releases the records.impossible if he was anywhere near the correct location and After the Air Force search for the object was com­directly contradicts press reports about the large m i l itary pleted, the I ieutenant who searched prepared a handwrittenpresence and civilian crowds. He said he and three other investigation report as required by Air Force regulations,members of the 662nd searched the woods with tlashlights which was then typewritten by an administrative specialistand found nothing. (the same person who told me he believed the object was a I t is revealing that puzzling discrepancies exist among Russian satellite, oddly enough). For reasons unknown, thiskey points of the various accounts, as well as between report. which documented the unsuccessful search for theaspects of the statements of these officers and reports from object, was not included with the Blue Book case files on theboth the media and Project Blue Book. For example, the Kecksburg incident at the National Archives. "It was anlieutenant who searched the woods said there were fou r in inconclusive report that it could have been a meteorite," thehis search team; another ofticer told us that he had driven former lieutenant. now 62, told me in a 2003 telephonewith the team to a nearby barrack while two from Oakdale interview. He provided C F i s attorney with a signed affida­conducted the search with a state trooper. ( Th i s could have vit regarding his writing and filing of this report, and webeen the "three man team referred to by Blue Book, submitted the affidavit to the A i r Force requesting a copy o falthough Blue Book said that the three were all from Oakdale.) t h i s crucial document. "Because t h e investigation was underAnother officer told me there was no search at all, and that Project Blue Book. a copy o f my report would have eventu­the reports coming in to the Oakdale base concerned only an ally been forwarded to the Project Blue Book headquarters,object in the sky and not an object on the ground. He Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, he wrote in the affidavit.remembers very well the high volume o fcalls from the local So far, no response has been forthcoming to t h i s request.area and speaking to some o f the callers, and says that i fthere had been a search, he detinitely would have known. l-le WHAT WAS-OR WASNT-THE OBJECT?was adamant that there wasnt one. And yet another told methat the object was a Russian satellite, but insisted that he "Based on the accounts of the many eyewitnesses whom Imade that determination only fl·om newspaper and televi­ have interviewed, I am convinced that an object did fal l fromsion reports. the sky and apparently was removed by the m i l itary," said According to Project Blue Book records, Cashman called Stan Gordon. "Many have asked me what I believe theBlue Book headquarters at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base object was, and m y reply still is I dont know.· A s I havetwice from the Oakdale base, including a final call at 2 a.m., stated in the past, the most I i kely possibi l ities are ( I ) a highlyto report that nothing was found. Oddly, Cashman says he has advanced man-made space probe with some controlled­no memory of any event, phone calls, or heightened activity reentry capability, ( 2 ) a secret m i litary or government ex­at that time. He stated that he was the Blue Book liaison officer periment, ( 3 ) an extraterrestrial spacecraft."(as stated in the Blue Book fi lcs). as opposed to the I ieutenant In looking at item ( I ) above, many have proposed thatwho told me he was the Blue Book ofticer. the object may have been some kind of Soviet satellite or We are not certain whether these contradictory and debris that was secretly hidden away during the cold war. IUR + 30: 1 8
  9. 9. The leading contender, argued mainly by space consultant software package, I was able to reconst ru c t the possibleJames Oberg, has been Cosmos 96, a failed Russian Venera !light path (groundtrack) of Cosmos 96 on 9 Decemberprobe that the U . S . Space Command reported reentered the 1 965. I sent to Ms. Kean on I 0 October [2003] an em ailearth s atmosphcre over Canada at 3 : 1 8 a.m. the same day­ con ta i n in g two graphics dep i cting the on ly possiblefar from Kecksburg and more than 1 3 hours earlier. southbound pass of Cosmos <)6 on 9 December 1 965 , i r In 2003, I conducted a series of decisive interviews i t had not a lready reentered the atmosphere. N o pan o fexploring this question with Nicholas L. Johnson, chief Cosmos 96 c o u l d have landed in Pennsylvania i n thescientist for orbital debris at the ASA Johnson Space local afternoon o f 9 December 1 965.Center, who is recognized internationally as the leadingauthori ty on orbita l debris and foreign space systems. Among Even more intriguing than the fact that the Kecksburgmany other works, Johnson authored the book Handbook of object could not have been any part of Cosmos 96 is thatSoviet Lunar c111d Planetarv Exploration ( A merican Astro­ Johnson stated that Cosmos 96 was the only cataloguednautical Society, 1 979), in which he wrote about Cosmos 96 object to reenter on December 9, and that no other man­and related spacecraft. made ob ject .from any col/lillY came dolln that cia. He At my request, Johnson examined the orbital data for explained that anything not catalogued would have been soCosmos 96 and was able to calculate when it would have small that it would not have survived reentry, and anythingpassed over Pennsylvania i f it had continued in orbit that day larger would have been detected. " I cannot absolutely con­(which means d isregarding the U . S . Space Command i n for­ firm that it was not some completely unreported event, butmation). That time, when it would have traveled from north the chances or that are virtually n il," Johnson said. "Youto south, was approximately 6:20 a.m. "I can tell you cant launch something without somebody seeing i t . Bycategorically that there is no way that any debris from 1 965 the U . S . and Soviets were both reporting their launches."Cosmos 96 could have landed in Pennsylvania anywhere The possibility of a U . S . reconnaissance satellite drop­around 4:45 p.m.:· Johnson told me. "That"s an absolute. ping a large film canister for recovery on that day has alsoOrbital mechanics is very strict." One part of Cosmos 96 been ruled out. These capsules were dropped followingcould not have stayed i n orbit unti 1 4:45 p.m. after the object secret missions over the Soviet Union. and Johnson said thatcame apart hours earlier in Canada, as some had speculated. sometimes they fel l where they werent supposed to. The In an April 2005 email to Towers Productions during its C I A recently declassified data on the reconnaissance nights,production of a documentary for the 1-1 istory Channel, and by checking launch and retrieval times. Johnson deter­Johnson summarized his investigation as follows: mined that there was no secret mission that could have led to an inadvertent reentry of a capsule on that day. "This was I n response to a request by Ms. Kean. I researched the the only other thing 1 could think of that could have fal len out NASA Orbital Debris Program Office data files for of space and was man-made," he said. tracking data (aka two-line element sets from the U.S. Before consulting Johnson. I had spoken with P h i l l i p S . Space Survei llance Network ) on Cosmos 96 ( U . S . Cata­ C l ark of Londons Molniya Space Consultancy b y tele­ log Number 0 1 742): however, no data for that object phone in the U . K . Another renowned expert who studied the were found. I later contacted A i r Force Space Com­ Soviet and Chinese space programs for more than 20 years, mand and received h i storical tracking data for Cosmos Clark also e l i m i nated Cosmos 96 as a possibility, based 96. Using these data and an A i r Force Space Command simply on the comparison with the many eyewitness reports providing almost identical descriptions or the object. The Cosmos capsule was only three feet in diameter-much smaller than the object reported by Kccksburg witnesses. Clark also pointed out that the Cosmos capsule could not have made turns or descended slowly at an angle, since it would have been propelled only by the p u l l of gravity cc c towards earth, and it most I ikely would have created a crater upon impact. The letters CCCP ( Russian for U S S R ) which appear prominently on the body of Cosmos capsule would have been easily recognized by the witnesses, i f the letters had not burned off upon reentry. I n 1 965, unlike today, the U . S. government did not have the technical means of detecting natural bodies. such as a meteor, suddenly coming into the earth " s atmosphere, so NOR A D space surveillance radar could not detect meteors. A drawing o the Soviet space capsu/e.fiom Cosmos 96. f Therefore, u n fortunately, we do not have tracking data that about three feet in diameter. which reentered the can t e l l us anything about the 1 965 fireball shooting across atmosphere /3 hours before the Kecksblllg incident. (colllinued on page 28) I U R + 30: 1 9
  10. 10. As GREAT AN ENIGMA As THE UFOs THEMSELVES BY MICHAEL D. SwORDSW eve been in the UFO research business for A t a Center for UFO Studies board meeting, Jerry Clark a long time now, and probably all of us who said to me that as of the early summer of 1 952, this matter read fUR are convinced that this statement should have been settled once and for a l l . H e was, i n part, is true: "A large number of witnesses have thinking of the Nash-Fortenberry incident. I agreed. In fact,observed apparently technological devices i n the skies that ! thought that it should have been settled even earlier. (Notehave occasionally landed on the ground and are i n no way that neither Jerry nor I were adding Roswell into t h i sexplainable by mundane natural or current human technol­ equation. Why? Speaking for myself, Roswell could wellogy." When I m asked the naYve, m isleading, and rather have been managed uniquely; that is, buried in a level ofstupid question, "Do you believe in UFOs?" I say that I secrecy and cloaked handling where almost no one waswont bother responding to that, but i fyou want to ask me i f privy to any ofthe detai ls. I t was not only secret to the public,I believe i n something l i k e t h e statement above, I say "No, but was also closed to the general intel l i gence community.I dont believe that. I kno111 it to be true." As such, it would remain i n a perpetual gray area, whether I know i t to be true because there are so many cases in you believed in i t or not. But regular cases, like Nash­which the quality and h u m i l ity of the witnesses, the details Fortenberry, were completely out ofthe can, in the open, andobserved, the convincing contexts of the sightings, the could not be rationally denied.)surprises i n the "little t h ings" reported, and the absence of Previous to Nash-Fortenberry, one recal l s the Generalother embellishments when those would be so easy to add, M i l l s balloon cases of Charles Moore, Commander Robertproduce a powerful and undeniable set of narratives that are McLaughlin, J. J. Kaliszewski, among others. Those inci­simply and overwhelmingly inexplicable. dents should have ended the debate as well, given the caliber Meditating on this while browsing through three terri fie of the witnesses, back i n the late 1 940s. And even, onresources for the U FO scholar ( Loren Grosss series t i t led reflection, so should the Kenneth Arnold case and a fewUFOs: A Hisl01y; Tom Tulien s oral h i story project video­ others ofthattime, such as Captain E . J. S m i t h . These shouldtapes; and the personal files of James McDonald), the have ended the matter in July 1 947 and, as weve seen withenigma of the t i t l e of this article crystall ized for me. Why Garrett and McCoy, they did. So why is the matter stillhasnt this problem-that apparently technological objects debated, and t h e question not answered, i n 2005?have graced our skies-been dispensed with long ago? Thequestion ofwhether there really are U FOs should have been T H E E DWARDS A I R FORCE BASE FILMset aside as a no-brainer a l most as soon as the phenomenonbegan flapping in 1 947. What i nspired this hair-puller was the May 3, I 95 7, Edwards For some of those first individuals who seriously tried A F B case, first noticed by Max M iller in h i s Saucersto study it, it was. For George Garrett i n J u l y 1 947 i n the magazine, then pursued, as usual, by James McDonald andPentagon, the disks were real. For Howard "Mac" McCoy at then i mmortalized in print and video by Loren Gross andWright-Patterson AFB in the summer of 1 94 7, the same was Tom Tulien. Perhaps fUR readers are fam i l iar with the case,true. forthose in Project Sign, l i kewise, and Dewey Fournet, but I II bet many of you are not. 1t is another powerhouseat the Pentagons UFO intelligence desk-to say nothing of case, another debate-ender, in my view. Heres how it went:Donald Keyhoe, Coral Lorenzen, Isabel Davis, and on and On the morning of May 3, 1 957, the supervisor o fon. But in 2005 a debate still exists, and we are generally on civilian camera operators a t Edwards A F B i n C a l i forniast h e losing side as portrayed by media, academia, and the Mojave Desert, frank E. Baker, sent the standard two-mangovernment. Pat answers to this enigma are not very cogent. crews out to their Askania tracking telescopes for their 8-5This isnt a simple cover-up or the Robertson Panel. shifts. A normal day for the teams would be photographing airplanes on speed runs to accurately measure their veloci­Michael D. Swords is pro essor emeritus o the Environ­ f f ties, or to fil m a dummy bomb drop, or perhaps even thementa!lnstiture. Weslern Michigan University. Kalamazoo. U-2 h i gh-altitude spyplane. Previously the telescopes were I U R + 30: 1 I0
  11. 11. 0. 10� ol !ilatioo ·c 111 me Col deurt. !be AUo�lo lhtod O:ll• h "WGtlaq alto 10 •U"olly loUow tt11d r•tord. �n 111m lh• Jo�o�roer o! U.• Molltn Vlllllla t.E:I0HOUR! Vokltwf So. 12 It c t!to•cn� Ill• lo:o•pher• L-------� Sh• • o qood =. l•dl•t rrie• 0111 tb• ru��· Solely Cootrol moa throua� tk• loudtp•ohu Various tvpes ofAskania tracking telescopes in use by the U.S. mi/itw�v.calibrated by focusing on stars, and sometimes even by while the film rolled at a rapid pace ( probably eight framesballoons deliberately launched for this purpose. The opera­ per second, as B ittixk recounted to McDonald I 0 yearstors were fam i l iar with all types of aerial technologies. later). They shot about I 00 feet and stopped. When they The master station fort he telescope crews was I h miles started filming, the object began to move away from itsoutside the main area of Edwards. and the five telescope estimated distance of one m i le. When they quit filming, itinstallations a little further into the surrounding desert. The was about five miles distant, and its motion had been fast and •crews drove out to their positions. Veterans James Bittick steady with no wobbling. e c )and Jack Gettys were i n their pickup expecting a normal clay. What they saw was a disk­As they approached their station, they saw an object in the shaped object (a "cigar" fromsky, shining brightly. I t was, initially, at about 45° elevation the side) with a low dome onand seemed to be hovering. Gettys. who was very interested top. Gettys f the edges were elt Gettys s memOJT of1he -in UFOs, immediately stated that they had a UFO on their more rounded, while Bittick UFO (I 0 1·ears later)hands. thought them more pointed. > < The crew had to get permission from Baker before The dome had l it t l e portstrying to photograph t h e object. So they called in, began around it, perhaps five or six,readying the scope, loaded the film (as they would have and the device was spinning.done regardless to begin the day). and waited for the OK. I t was shiny metallic in ap­ Bittick s mem01:v of the This interlude lasted f a few m i nutes while they or pearance, but whether i t was UFO (40+ years late!) . .. . .. ......... .. ;> ...� ..worked at the scope and snuck peeks at the hovering object. gold in color or silver with the .,Gettys, who looked through the side-mounted spotting scope, golden morningsunlightglint­ .., ,.····said that the base of object had a c i rcular appearance when ing off it was not obvious. .• .. .. ehigh in the sky. Bittick apparently didnt look at it through Gettys thought i t was defi­ Baker ·s memo1:v ofthethe spotting scope u n t i l it was lower in the sky, as he nitely gold-colored. Guessing UFO ( ! 0 years late1),remembered only the side view. at its size, he thought it was with ha::.v dges The go-ahead from Baker came in time, and they began "parking lot sized," about I 00fil m ing, each viewing the object through the spotting scopes feet i n diameter. A t no t i m e did t h e men hear any engine sound from the UFO. AF Studying Gettyss account eli ffers fro m Bitticks in A I R F O R C E STU D I ES P H OTOS only a few details. First, he said he could see Cameras Track F l y i n g S a u cer Photo? , the underside of the object, which was circular to Object Over Desert (planiform) when a t i t highest elevation angle. e EDWARDS A I R F 0 R C E BASE, Callr M&y 10 C!!ISl.­ . Also, he didnt see any ports on the dome. V1... Camer a .!tUriiCS Cll an u n - special ize-d c a m � r a eqt�:ip- . j Offlcers &� Edwards Air Force They contacted t h e base and ultimately . JCCt menl Films and mformalton Base y da were �tudylng tllms irlcntHi ed ftymj; 0 b h · P : were d ispa tched immediat ly made or a purported "unldentl· two jets were scrambled. By the time these tograph e d at Edwards Atr to the intelligence center. �r the ei fied flying obJect·• 3<en o force Base last Friday a re Unofficial reports said the base. {i J { came overhead, the U FO had disappeared i n being analyzed by the Air ob ect appeared round, that The obJect "as photographtd it c�ught lhe mornmg sun an easterly direction. T h e jets never caught up hjcec: }l Technica l Intelligence Center by two civilian technicians who h at w r i s h t·Patterson AFB, and that !! moved but not at used speclol equipment l<J �rack b to it or even saw i t . a Day ton . 0.. The T m e s . any s�e at speed There were and record lt. no esumates as to >ts size or learned yesterd�y. Unofficial source.s said the ob­ A flerGettys a n d Bittick turned i n the film, l Spokesmen at th secret altitude. t Ject a P p e a r e d circular and nter north a( es Edwards officers would not 1 d eser l tc�L ha� rd a guess as to what the ty rig l In the momlng i t apparently stayed at Edwards to be devel­ ) l-os Angeles would say only glln� c - sun when observed Friday, 1hat the o e l was spotted obJCCl was, although one sa td oped, the normal procedure. Following the w l t,.,·o ca,•than hoto theodo- t could have been a weather However, lnt.elllrence offlctra at Edwards base, a hush-hush air 1 balloon. incident, possibly even the next work day, I h e operators. They Lracked the object "This d ert air does crazy, force kst, would say al­ mo&t nothlni or the lnclden t. three o fficers showed up at Frank Bakers and lOOk pi tures with the things," he added. station: a major, a captain, and a lieutenant. Left, Los Angeles Times. May 9. /95 7: Bittick and Gettys were interrogated sepa­ right . New York Journal-American. May 10. 1 957. rately. but their stories matched and neither JU R + 3 0 : 1 I I
  12. 12. would back off what they had seen. The officers were K l e i n s analysis. Nevertheless, Project B l ue Book wroteinsulting, suggesting that the desert sun does things to ones the incident off as a balloon with total disregard for theeyes (despite the fact that they had film), and wondering how facts. Someone at Edwards may have been UFO-sympa­late theyd been out the previous night or how long theyd tl1etic, as the story was quickly leaked to C a l i fornia newspa­been i n the sun (despite the incident occurring at about 8 pers. The A i r Force was very unhappy about this. The horse,a . m . ) . Bittick got angry enough to turn to Frank Baker and thereby, was let out of the barn enough that we didntask: "Do I have to put up with this crap?" Renecting back on entirely lose t h i s case.this 49-odd years later, he told Tom Tulien, " l l s a funny Well, there we are again: Expert, multiple witnessesthing how they try to cover up what they know, and use a and hundreds of frames of f i l m . The deputy of staff forstupid answer for it. operations knows that i t was not a balloon, and is thereby an The stupid answer was a balloon. Both men knew that unidentified physical object in the air near the base-j ustit wasn · r a balloon. Not only did they have the evidence of l i k e K a l i szewski, Moore, and McLaughl i n knew the sametheir eyes checked against the years of experience with the after their sightings. But, somehow, U S A F intell igencetracking telescope, but also there was the film itself. A friend refuses to know. And it cant be just Project Blue Book andof theirs who worked at Edwards knew the fellow who an understaffed and not-a-little-incompetent project officerdeveloped the Askania films. He got the guy to clip off a there. This i n formation is passing through other offices asstrip that he ultimately gave to Bittick (who kept it for well, including A i r Defense Command, the A i r Force of­several years then burned it because he shouldnt have had fices at the Pentagon, very probably the Office of Navalit in the first place). Other clips from the f i l m apparently got Research. and/or the Office of Naval Intel l i gence, and ourto Baker as wei I. The f i l m showed a cigar shape with a bump friends in the C I A . And people inside these organizationson top. (A few prints from the film are in the B l ue Book files, are hearing about these expert-witness cases, here and there,but they seem to be more distant examples and are I ittle more in at least a constant trickle, if nor a now. Doesnt anyonethan light blobs. See them in Brad Steigers I 976 paperback, have any memory? Doesn t an accumulation of anomaliesProjecl Blue Boo/c) Baker later said that he saw closer build up in anyones mind? Why doesnt this stuff stickphotos that definitely showed what Bittick and Gettys anywhere? Of course, it sticks with us, but we obviouslyclaimed. dont count. And, what about the balloon? Well, there was a balloonreleased from Edwards at about 7:40 a.m. on May 3. It was AN EXPLANATION, PLEASE?very well tracked. Lt. Col. Raymond Klein, the deputy chiefof staff for operations at Edwards, compared it to what the The explanation for this rather astounding selective amne­observers saw and where they were located, and wrote: sia is something that Id very much l i ke someone to clearly"Based on the above track made and the location of the elucidate for m e . What i s it about an organ ization l ikeobservers at the time of the sighting [al l known quantities], U S A F I n t e l l i gence, or the Pentagon, or the C I A , or a fuzzythe weather balloon released at Edwards could not have concept l i ke "the media" that allows something of t h i sbeen the unidenti tied object reported. potential importance and clear evidence t o b e constantly J i m McDonald rechecked the data and confirmed fuzzed out of existence, despite incidents that just can t be so discarded? A colossal example: How can the General UFO SIGHTINGS M i l l s balloon cases of the late 1 940s and early 1 950s not I N THE NEW M I LLENNIUM even be presented at the C I A s Robertson Panel i n January I 953? My eyeballs start revolving independently in my T h i s revised edition of Richard H a l l s monograph on s k u l l i f I t h i n k too long about that! I f the most undeniable 2 1 st-century UFO sightings is now available from expert witness, m u l t i ple witness, device-recorded inci­ C U FOS. This is a report for those who like to read about dents are not even resident enough i n the consciousnesses s i g h t i ngs, showing that of Ruppel!, Fournet, or Hynek to bother to sell them to UFOs are still around and Robertson, what explains that? Richard H. Hall doing amazing things. Wit­ I ve bored my colleagues at CUFOS for several years nesses are seeing all the with the statement that ufology is not a field of study because classic types of UFOs re­ it never establishes anything. l t has no real history, no ported over the years, and foundation of "givens." This is despite Nash-Fortcnberry, there is a special section on Father G i l l , Lawrence Coyne, and the General M i l l s and large triangular objects. Edwards A F B boys. But why arent these "givens"? They Send a check for $ 1 2.00 are, for any intellectually honest student oft he phenomenon, ( $ 1 5.00 i f you reside out­ certainly "undeniables." But they dont stick together and side the U . S . ) to CU FOS, L--�-�����J 2457 W . Peterson, Chi­ they dont allow utology to "stick" in the consciousness of the government, m i l itary, and academy. Please educate m e cago, IL 60659. o n this, dear readers. + I U R + 30: 1 12
  13. 13. VENUSI AN DRE AMS B Y JEROME CLARK0 nly slightly smaller than the earth and once called its sister world, Venus is the second Uranus and Neptune, not discovered until the following century, or Pluto, not until 1 930, so in the Kantian cosmic planet from the sun. Often I ikened to hell, it is no scheme ofthings, the smat1ncss ofthe people ofJupiter ( fifth place you would want to live or even visit. Its in the solar system) was exceeded only by that o f Saturn (thedense atmosphere, shrouding the entire planet under a cloud sixth and, to mid- 1 8th-century knowledge, the last).cover and consisting of 96% carbon dioxide and a minute On the other hand. to Bernard Le Bovier de Fontenelleamount of water vapor, traps s urface heat i n a fierce green­ ( 1 657-1 757), author of a widely read 1 686 book on l i fe onhouse effect. The average temperature is a tropical 840° F. other worlds, Venusians are "I ittle black people, scorch d-bl istering enough to melt lead. The atmosphere also with t h e Sun, witty, ful l o r Fire, very Amorous." I n theproduces surface pressure 90 times what we experience on generally comparable imagining ofJacques Henri Bernardinearth. unless we happen to be standing on the ocean floor at de Saint-Pierre ( 1 737- 1 8 1 4). Venusians live in a paradisal,a depth of 3000 feet. It rains droplets of sulfuric acid. The pastoral real m . The mountain people are shepherds, whilepresence of sui fur-dioxide concentrations may imply ongo­ the others, on the shores o r their fertile islands. giveing volcanic activity. themselves over to dancing, to feasts, divert themselves with This scienti fie description of the Morning Star and the songs, or compete for prizes in swimming, like the happyEvening Star, as earthlings have called this bright and islanders ofTahiti."beaut i fu l presence (which the ancients thought were two An observer in 1 743 reported seeing "ashen light"­separate celestial bodies) i n our heavens, would not have mysterious illumination-on Venus dark side. Since thenbeen possible i fnot for space probes and technical advances other astronomers have described the phenomenon, sti II notin astronomy in the mid- to latter 20th century. Before that, conclusively ex.plained though generally thought to be theit was possible to imagine just about anything about Venus, consequence of electricity in the atmosphere. To Germanincluding the beings and creatures that l ived on it, and astronomer Franz von Paula Gruithuisenhuman beings did precisely that. (right) ( 1 774- 1 852 ), however, the phe­ nomenon could be explained as light givenTHE DREAMS OF THE SCIENTISTS offby "general festivals of fire" in which the Venusians periodically participate,Among the most notable of the early corresponding with "changes in govern­s p e c u l ators w a s t h e p h i l os o p h e r ment" or perhaps to religious celebra­I m manuel Kant (right) ( 1 724-1 804 ). I n tions. This and other luminous a noma I iesUniversal Natural Historv and Theo1y led French inventor Charles Cros ( 1 842- 1 88 8 ) to wonder i fo the Heavens ( 1 75 5 ) he outlined the f Venusians were trying t o signal the earth and t o proposeastronomically and logically dubious ways of sending signals back.hypothesis that distance from the sun Using earthly population-density figures as a guide,determines the intelligence level of a Scottish clergyman and amateur scientist Thomas Dickworlds inhabitants; thus, the people who ( 1 774- 1 85 7) startlingly pegged the Venusian population atlive on Mercury are the stupidest, and Venusians are only a densely packed 53.500.000.000. Popular science journal­dimly brighter. Kant and his contemporaries knew nothing of ist Richard Proctor ( 1 83 7- 1 88 8 ) wrote i n Other Worlds Than Ours ( 1 870), "On the whole, the evidence we haveJerome Clark. co-editor o I UR. is author o the multi­ f f points very strongly to Venus as the abode of living crea­volume UFO Encyclopedia ( 1 990-1 998) and other 1rorks. tures not unlike the inhabitants of eatth."His latest book, Unnatural Phenomena, published by ABC­ Because the clouds covering the planet rendered tele­CLIO in 2005, examines the Fortean landscape o 9th- and f/ scopic observation of its surface impossible, much aboutear/1· 20th-cent111:1· America. Venus remained unknown even i n the first half of the 20th IUR + 30:1 13