October 3 1962
The UFO evidence lists this case as follows (p. 140)1:
October 3, 1962--Chicago, Ill. City of Chicago official watched circular UFO with dome move across lower half of moon. [VII]
Section VII adds a bit more2:
October 3, 1962 - 9:25 p.m. Chicago, Illinois While watching for the Echo satellite, McAley and his son saw a domed disc cross the face of the moon traveling in a westerly direction’. The object, tilted at an angle, “seemed to be floating.” It appeared to be a small fraction of the apparent size of the moon and gave the impression of being far out in space. 
The footnote tells us this came from a report filed with NICAP by Patrick McAley, who was an official associated department of weights and measures. This case sounds impressive but I wonder if NICAP really bothered to look closely at this case.
Examining the details and possible sources of this report
The first thing I wanted to do with this case is look at where the Moon was located in the sky. Imagine my surprise that the moon was setting at the time of this observation. Assuming the witness may have been in error and saw the event ten to twenty minutes
sooner than the reported time, the moon was still only a few degrees above the WSW horizon. Did the witnesses have a flat and clear horizon so they could see the moon at such a low elevation angle? Apparently, NICAP did not bother itself with looking into such details.
Was it possible that weather conditions may have played a role? Weather observations filed indicated the sky was broken and scattered during this time period.3 It was not perfectly clear and one wonders if the atmosphere might have affected the witness’ observation of the moon. I took this image of the moon rising over the ocean. With the naked eye, the moon appeared strange as it shape became distorted as it rose. A setting moon would have exhibited similar characteristics. Is it possible that what Mr. McAley saw was a distortion of the moon as it set? Is it possible that some small clouds passing in front of the moon at the time gave the impression of a “domed disc” passing in front of the moon?
The location also made me wonder if the witness’ were looking in the direction of an airport. We are left without an exact location. Midway and O’Hare airports are to the west of Chicago. Did the witnesses simply see an airplane from an odd angle as it passed in front of the moon? The witness admitted that the object was small compared to the moon’s size so it could only have been a few minutes of arc across. Resolving the “dome” on this object would have been difficult without optical aid. This photograph I took of an airplane passing close to the moon was shot with a 300mm telephoto lens. It shows the difficulty in seeing fine details of this kind.
Another case of padding the database?
I really don’t consider this case that impressive and there seems to be plenty of reasons to suggest the witness saw something more mundane. Besides atmospheric phenomena or an airplane, it could have been just about anything airborne (balloon, kite, bird, etc.). Because the witness was some public official, NICAP seemed to think it made their document appear credible to the reader, who is not aware of the inaccurate claim of “reliable/expert” observers based on occupation.
Quelle: SUNlite 6/2014