UFO-Forschung - Projekt Blue Book - Teil-7


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CASE # 3427: February 10, 1955
The summary of this entry on the NICAP website (from Don Berlinner’s list) states:
Feb. 10, 1955; Bethesda, Maryland. 10:03 p.m. Witness: E.J. Stein, model maker at U.S. Navy ship design facility. One object, shaped like a small portion of the bottom of the Moon, with a radiant yellow color, hovered for 30 seconds. Its bottom changed to a funnel shape. Total sighting lasted 1.5-2 minutes.1
The record card reads:
Saucer shaped illuminous object. Altitude of 150’. Seen while driving auto. Color of moon, “a yellowish radiant color,” and had a flat top, with a spherical bottom. Remained stationary for 30 seconds, then the bottom portion appeared to assume a funnel type shape, obj. seemed to dminish (sic) in size. Dark cloudy night. No moon or stars visible.2
The witness told investigators that he was an “amateur astrologer” for approximately seven years until 1951. Assuming he meant “Amateur astronomer”, it seems that it would be unlikely that he could mistake something in the sky for a UFO.
Getting to the source would require some directions and locations of the observer. Fortunately, the observer gives us a pretty good location and direction of observation. According to the report, he was driving east on McArthur Boulevard between 75th or 76th street and Cabin Johns Gardens entrance (The Clara Barton Access Rd below). The UFO then appeared to the right of the car and at an altitude of 150 feet. These are some pretty good locations and directions. I question the altitude estimate since the witness really can’t make an estimate of this value without knowing the objects distance or size.
The road and location describes a heading along an azimuth of about 94 to107 degrees depending on what section of MacArthur boulevard he was located when he saw the UFO. Therefore, the bearing of the UFO was somewhere to the right of 94 degrees azimuth.
The report states the witness said the conditions were dark and cloudy with no moon or stars visible. This appears to have been no other check to see what the weather was. A check of weather underground records for Bethesda and Silver Hill (15 miles to the ESE) indicated the following conditions:
What this indicates is the clouds were moving towards the east and sky conditions may not have been completely overcast towards the eastern sky for the observer.
Where was the moon?
I think the witness’ description needs to be considered here. He stated the UFO looked like the bottom portion of the moon. So could the moon have been involved that night? A check with the US Naval Observatory website reveals that the moon rose at 2148 local time. At 2203, it was at azimuth 104 degrees and 2 degrees elevation. This lies in the direction the car was driving. If the moon were peaking out of the clouds briefly before disappearing again, it would appear to be an object that changed shape as he described.
Reasons for rejection
The only reason to reject the moon hypothesis is the belief that the sky was completely overcast to the horizon that night. Weather
records for the area indicate the skies were not completely overcast prior to the event and there was a chance that sky might have some holes in the cloud cover to the east, which would allow the moon to appear briefly.
Why didn’t Blue Book solve it?
They simply accepted the observation the sky was overcast that night and probably did not consider that it was possible for an “ex amateur astrologer” to be confused by the moon. Other than the two page report, there seems to have been little follow-up investigation. Hynek apparently was not consulted.
While we can’t positively state the moon was the source based on the limited information we have, the possibility that moon was involved is hard to ignore. I would change this from “unidentified” to “probably the moon”.
Quelle: SUNlite 4/2013
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