May 24, 1954
The UFO evidence lists this case as follows:
May 24, 1954--Dayton, Ohio. Photo officer and scanner on RB-29 saw and photographed
circular UFO below plane. [III]1
When one examines Section III, we read the following:
Brilliant circular UFO sped below plane at est. 600 mph, photographed by crew. Photograph never made public.[47.]2
Footnote #47 cites Edward Ruppelt’s book, “Report on Unidentified Flying Objects”.
In that book, Ruppelt describes the case as follows:
About 11:00A.M. on May 24, 1954, an RB-29 equipped with some new aerial cameras
took off from Wright Field, one of the two airfields that make up Wright-Patterson
AFB, and headed toward the Air Force’s photographic test range in Indiana. At exactly twelve noon they were at 16,000 feet, flying west, about 15 miles northwest of Dayton. A major, a photo officer, was in the nose seat of the ‘29. All of the gun sights and the bombsight in the nose had been taken out, so it was like sitting in a large picture window—except you just can’t get this kind of a view anyplace else. The major was enjoying it. He was leaning forward, looking down, when he saw an extremely bright circular-shaped object under and a little behind the airplane. It was so bright that it seemed to have a mirror finish. He couldn’t tell how far below him it was but he was sure that it wasn’t any higher than 6,000 feet above the ground, and it was traveling fast, faster than the B-29. It took only about six seconds to cross a section of land, which meant that it was going about 600 miles an hour.
The major called the crew and told them about the UFO, but neither the pilot nor the copilot could see it because it was now directly under the B-29. The pilot was just in the process of telling him that he was crazy when one of the scanners in an aft blister called in; he and the other scanner could also see the UFO.
Being a photo ship, the RB-29 had cameras—loaded cameras—so the logical thing to do would be to take a picture, but during a UFO sighting logic sometimes gets shoved into the background. In this case, however, it didn’t, and the major reached down, punched the button
on the intervalometer, and the big vertical camera in the aft section of the airplane clicked off a photo before the UFO sped away.
The photo showed a circular-shaped blob of light exactly as the major had described it to the RB-29 crew. It didn’t show any details of the UFO because the UFO was too bright; it was completely overexposed on the negative. The circular shape wasn’t sharp either; it had fuzzy edges, but this could have been due to two things: its extreme brightness, or the fact that it was high, close to the RB-29, and out of focus. There was no way of telling exactly how high it was but if it were at 6,000 feet, as the major estimated, it would have been about 125 feet in diameter.
Working with people from the photo lab at Wright-Patterson, Captain Hardin from Project Blue Book carried out one of the most complete
investigations in UFO history. They checked aircraft flights, rephotographed the area from high and low altitude to see if they could pick up something on the ground that could have been reflecting light, and made a minute ground search of the area. They found absolutely
nothing that could explain the round blob of light, and the incident went down as an unknown.
Like all good “Unknown” UFO reports, there are as many opinions as to what the bright blob of light could have been as there are people who’ve seen the photo. “Some kind of light phenomenon” is the frequent opinion of those who don’t believe. They point out that there is no shadow of any kind of a circular object showing on the ground—no shadow, nothing “solid.” But if you care to take the time you can show that if the object, assuming that this is what it was, was above 4,000 feet the shadow would fall out of the picture.
Then all you get is a blank look from the light phenomenon theorists.
With the sighting from the RB-29 and the photograph, all of the other UFO reports that Blue Book has collected and all of those that came out of the European Flap, the big question—the key question— is: What have the last two years of UFO activity brought out? Have there been any important developments? 3
There seems to be plenty of information about this case and it is apparent that Blue Book had investigated the case. Would they have a copy of the photograph in their files?
Blue Book’s report
Blue Book did investigate this case4 and had a copy of the photograph in their files5. However, the photograph seemed less impressive than what Ruppelt described. In fact, Ruppelt’s description missed some important points and contained
some errors. For instance, the photograph was apparently
taken by a B-17 and not an RB-29. This indicates that Ruppelt was working with second hand information and not primary sources. This introduced potential errors. Most important
is how Blue Book classified this case shortly after seeing
As Ruppelt states, there was an investigation by experts. However,
contrary to what he reported, all the experts agreed that what was visible in the photographs was a reflection of light off of ice crystals below the airplane. This was the assumption as early as June 2, 1954, less than a month after the event:
The data was submitted to a panel of scientists and specialists, which included astronomers, meteorologists, and a physicist. It was concluded that the sighting was a very rare aerial phenomena
caused by the reflection of the sun’s rays upon an ice-crystal platelet formation.6
Because Ruppelt felt this had been classified as an “unknown”, NICAP classified it as such.
There is little doubt that what was photographed was probably
a sub sun and not some unknown craft from “someplace
else”. The case should be considered adequately explained
and not “evidence” for UFOs being alien spacecraft
Quelle: SUNlite 1/2015