1978 Elsberry Missouri UFO Flap


RADAR_VISUAL CASE NEARKANSASCITY

 

HEAVILY-WITNESSED

 

cAsE #3-9-163

 

This UFO is certainlY an unusual.

dynamicone,puttingon a show over

Belton,MO that could be seen in three

neighboringsuburbssouth of Kansas

City, with dozens of witnesses reporting

it independently to law enforcement

agencies and the localAir Force

base(whowerealsowatchingit).Thus,

it is distinguished with

 

as the IUR case

the greatestnumber of witnesses.lt

alsoappearsto have been seen briefly

on radar.lf thiseventwas based on a

hoax. it would be unprecedentedlY

elaborate.

 

ENVIFlONMENT

 

DATE: Tuesday,August 8,1978.

STARTINGTIME: 9:40 PM

PLACE: Belton, Missouri,east of

 

RichardGebaur Air Force Base.a

largely residential areain a suburban

city about 15 miles south of downtown

KansasCity.

 

APPEAFlANCE

 

Most of the witnesses indicated that

they saw a large red light dropping

"flares". One individual, Mr. Joseph

Staudinger,Jr., was fortunate enough

to have been directly underneath the

UFO and providedthe sketches seen

above.Notethat the rows of red lights

were rotating like a turntable. while

the white strobe lights beaming in

 

tvifnesssketch of UFO

 

front of and beh ind the object remained

fixed in the direction of travel. When

overhead,Staudingersawthe object as

large-lookingas a full moon (%-degree

of arc); coupled with the elevation

(estimatedfrom triangulation) of 2800

 

feet,this providesa roughoverallsize

of 25 feet. Binoculars at the Air Force

base revealed a faint white blinking

light unseen by the tower witnesses

with the naked eye accompanying the

red lights.

 

MOTION

 

Two particularly articulate reports

enableus at this stage to triangulate

the location and height of the object

throughout its trajectory. One viewpoint

comesfrom Sgt. GaryHavensat

the Air Forcebase air tower; the other

is providedby Mr. Joseph Staudinger,

alsoformerly in the Air Force.who

saw the UFO fly directly over his

house on Park Drive (a north-south

street) and parallelto the street.His

houseis two milesSEof the tower at

the base.Key pointsof discussion are

numbered below on the map and

discussed(all times are approximate,

based on interpolations between

known endpoints) :

 

119:40 PM.'Staudinger,his wife, his

14-vearold son and his neighbors

(who notified the Air Force base)

watched the object come from the

south over the tree line.

219:42 PM: UFO passedvirtually

overhead on Park Drive. This is the

point where the tower at Richard

Gebaur first took note of it, about 15

to 20' up. This triangulates to a height

of about 2800 feet. No noise was


 

 

heard.

 

319:47 PM: The object stoppedhere,

accordingto both witnesses.For the

Air Force base witnesses,it wasnow

due east about 15ouP. For the Park

Drive witnesses,it was due north,

about 15 degrees uP.Thisworksout

to 2000 feet, adoptingthe elevation

anglesliterally. The UFO flew at

roughlya levelaltitude,then,taking

about five minutes to travel from the

Staudingerhouse to a Position 1.4

miles north of it. This works out to a

speed of 17 m.p.h. -more like a

balloon than a plane,or possiblya

helicopter.Sgt. Havens estimated the

distancenow to be 314to 1%miles

away...anexcellentguess,sincethe

UFO works out to a distanceof 1.4

milesfrom the tower. Another indi'

 

:

 

vidual.on the base,standingabout

two blocks dueeastof the tower, also

confirmedthe "due east"positionfor

 

the UFO once it had stoPPed.Since

the base has no radar of its own,

HavenscalledKansasCity International

Airport, over 30 miles north of the

action,to see if they couldtrack"anything

east of the base".ControllerHal

Robertsconfirmedthat they could,

but that it was intermittent,appearing

as a non-transponding

 

targetonly 7 or

8 sweepsout of 30. InterestinglY,

Havensdid not clue Robertsat KCI

how far he should look; Yet when

Allan HendrycalledRobertsdirectly

andaskedhow far the targetwasfrom

the small paintedline indicatingthe

runwayat RichardGebaur,he told us

"one and one-half miles", which

correspondsperfectlY to the now-

 

triangulatedposition.

It washerein the ten-minute hover'

 

ing positionthat the UFO performed

its spookiest stunt. seenby virtually

everyonewith whom we sPoke:it

dropped a red/orangef lare down

toward the ground. Everyone agreed,

however,that the flarecould be seen

fizzling out beforeit hit the ground.

Priorto this, a whiteflash of lightwas

seenby both Havens and Staudinger.

It looked like it had occured beneath

the red lights through binoculars(as

seenfrom the tower).The Park Drive

 

witnessesactuallyheard a loud "pop"

or "crack" soundaccompanyingthe

flash'Thetower witnesses didn't hear

the noise, but an airmannamedLucas

near the maingateof the base did; in

fact, he reported severalsuch"explosions".

 

 

41 70:00 PM.' Now the object rose

straightup. as seen from bothvantage

points.Thiswas a slow process,taking

15 to 20 minutes.Fromthetower,the

red lights were seen to disaPPear

suddenlyat what wasguessedto be an

increasein altitude of 4000 feet'

 

Anothergoodguess,accordingto the

triangulations:using their elevation

 

angleof 45o as a moreaccurateguage

of height,the heightof theobjectwas

equalto the original distance:about

 

1.4 miles.Although the red lights

could no longer be seen with the

nakedeye,the useof binocularscontinuedto

revealthedimflashingwhite

light. Havenswatchedit movesouthboundnowfor

"about a quartermile".

It then turnedabruptlynorthbound

againstill at a slow sPeed.Then it

drifted ESE, climbing to a higher

altitudeat an estimated speedgreater

than 200 knots, at Position(5) at

10:23PM.

Meanwhile.backat Park Drive, the

rising,levellingoff,north-south"glitch"

and ESE departure wereall seenas a

straighttrajectorythatextendedup to

15oeast of their zenith (overhead).

 

Thisis much furtheralongits trajectory

for the red lightsto disappear thanwas

seenfrom the side view of the Air

Force tower, but then the Park Drive

witnesseswere underneath it (at

position(6)).

 

 

Incidentally,oncethe UFO started

 

risingup, HavenscalledRobertsatthe

Kansas City airport again,but that

controllersaw nothingon his radar

screen now --a disaPPointment.

 

All of the abovefigures are subject

to error, of course, as theYarebased

on the elevationangleestimates.That

the UFO'sflightpathwasalignedwith

the north-south Park Drive was

fortunate.Total Duration:about 45

minutes.

 

WEATHEFI

 

Thetowerwitnessesat RichardGebaur

 

notedthe sky to beclear,with winds

from the SSE(170') at 3 to 6 knots'

These wind conditions were not

variableduring the event' Note that

the motion of the object is, thus, fairly

consistentwith wind directionfor the

first half of the sighting,but not the

secondhalf.

 

WITNESS

FlEACTION

 

 

amongall

of IUR's UFO casesbY the numberof

individualwitnessesinvolved.Richard

 

GebaurAFB had numerouswitnesses

on their own property;they also were

"flooded" with callsfrom civilians.

Accordingto a detectiveon the Belton

policeforce,their agencyreceived20

calls. ReportedlY, neighboring

Grandviewand KansasCitY Police

departmentsalsoreceivedcalls.There's

no questionthat somethingwasin the

sky overBeltonthat night.Nor canit

be claimed that Press attention

generateda lot of falsesightings,since

the case miraculouslYescaPedthe

 

The sighting is distinguished

 

attentionof thelocalnewsmedia(who

normallywatch policeblotterslike a

hawk). In IUR's exPerience, a huge

turnout of independent witnessesfor a

sighting usually foretells a ready

 

(e.9"

 

commonplace exPlanation

meteors,ad planesandotherconspicuous

lFOs),but what couldthis one

Od?Sgt. Gary Havens,an air traffic

controllerwithnineyearsof experience

saidit was "somethinglike l've never

seenbefore."lUR is still intheprocess

of coordinatingthe manywitnessesto

the event; any new informationwill

appearin a futureissue.Obviously.in

acaselikethis, the routine"suspicions"

normallyappliedto repor{ing witnesses

canbe relaxed considerablY.

 

ON THE CASE

 

Original source: direct call from

Richard Gebaur Air Force Base

securitypoliceto the Centerfor UFO

Studies'Hotline.Comprehensive

 

inter

 

 

views were conducted with the

 

principalwitnessesdiscussedherewith

 

 

in 24 hours of the event bY Allan

 

Hendry.Morewitnessesarestillbeing

 

contacted,but so far, most of them

 

havenot watched the objectascom

 

 

pletely or carefullyas the witnesses

 

mentioned.TheYdo all note a large

 

red light "making exPlosions"or

 

dropping"red lights".

 

The largenumberof indePendent

 

witnesses precluded the need to

 

conduct routine searchesfor more;

 

thereis no questionin this particular

 

casethat somethingwasthere. In an

 

effortto probethe nature of the target

 

a little further; IUR obtajned the

 

cooperationof the FAA's Air Route

 

Traffic ControlCenterin Olathe, KS

 

in securinga computerprintoutof all

 

of the radartargetsin that vicinity,

 

both "raw" andtransponder-equipped.

 

for the durationof the event'Several

 

time frames are shownhere,restricted

 

in area to the vicinitY of Richard

 

GebaurAir Force Base. Targetsthat

 

have been assignedlettercodesareair

 

 

craft with transponders;a separate

 

chart shows their transPonder

 

f requencies and altitudes.The Air

 

Force Base is coded as "GVW".

 

Targetswithout transponders(includ

 

 

ing light aircraft,"false"targetsand

 

 

presumablY-UFOs) are dePictedas

 

periods(.)andplussigns(+)'Plus signs

 

are more solid targets'Now halfway

 

throughthe event,a C-130 madean

 

approachto the basefrom 10milesto

 

the south. Whenthe pilot approached

 

to within 3 miles,he was askedif he

 

could see the UFOvisually.Hecould,

 

but he wasreluctantto getanywhere

 

near"the explosions". Havensrecalled

 

that he cut due westof the baseone

 

mile,cut to the south for threemiles

 

and turnednorthboundagainto land

 


 

 

,i

 

:j

 

a

 

:

 

at the base. These maneuvers showuP

clearly on the printout.Anothernontranspondingtargetcan

also be seen

flying NNE through the area,but

whereis the UFO? lt should appear as

a dot or a plussignto theright of the

"GVW" where the tower is; in the

periodwhereit is hovering and rising

straightup, it should be aboutl%"

away.Oneframe with a goodfit doth

not a radar match make, esPeciallY

when ground clutter "dots" keep

poppingup sporadically. Not that it

should appear constantly, since

ARTCC controllersclaim at best a

 

50% successrate in receiving "raw"

 

radarreturns(without the aid of a

transponder).lt's possiblethat we are

being told something here about the

 

nature of the object's tenuousness

when the radar returns from it are so

sooradic.

 

A NOTE ON RADAR COMPUTER

PRINTOUTS:This marks the third

occasionthat IUR hassecuredaTrack

AnalysisProgram(TAP) on a UFO

that promisedradar returnability. The

first was for the helicopterencounter

in Charlotte,North Carolina (lUR,

Mar. 1978). Not only did the UFO fail

to show up on radar, so did the nontranspondinghelicopter!

The second

instancewas for the Ocala. Florida

radar-visualcase #3-6-40 (lUR, June

 

These reports are of intermediate stature.

They are UFOs in the sense that we don't

know what they are, but for a variety of

 

stated reasons(distance. poor details, single

 

1978);this one is still being examined.

While there is a possibletargetex'

ecutinga hairpinreversalof motion,

we still need better time estimates

from the witnesses to establish that it

isn'tjust a coincidental"false" target

(there are many on this Printout).

 

ALTEFINATIVE

EXPLANATIONS

 

ASTRONOMY,METEOROLOGY:No

interpretationisPossible.

 

AERONAUTICS:The sketch of the

rows of red lightsimmediatelybrings

to mind our oldfriend. the advertising

plane.lndeed,one was in the area two

hourspreviousto the sightings. The

 

kind of rotation,theflashes.pops,and

 

droppingflares,theflightpathandthe

 

failureto appear on radarwhenother

 

low-flyingplanes(likethe C-130 with

 

a computer-indicatedaltitude of

 

1200 feet)drrCshowup serveto rule

 

this out.

 

SOCIOLOGY:Remarkably,no Press

attentionwasgivento this case in the

local news mediaat all. There can be

no claim, then, that all of the

witnesseswere simply jumPingon a

"UFOlogicalbandwagon".The consistencyfrom

story to story is also

quiteexceptional.

 

witness, etc.) they are not worthy of the

closest scrutiny. Namesof witnesses in this

category are generally withheld unless the

news media have already revealled them.

 

CC|NCLUSIONS

 

That an undeniablymysterious

object was seen over the skies of

Belton, Missouriappears to be undeniable.

A truly anomalous UFO?

For once,thereseemsto be only one

other credible alternative:a truly

bizarreprankballoon,constructedin a

way that would suggest a slowly'

rotatingrectangulararray of redlights!

This would account for the slowspeed,

the initial conformance to wind

direction,the characteristic"dropping

burning material",and the tenuous

radar returns. For this to work out,

though,the windborne propulsionof

the balloon wouldhaveto stop abruptly

for an extended period and the

balloon would have to lose ballast

(thedroppingmaterial?)to rise;then

the winds aloft (1%milesup) would

have to be directly opposite those

 

measuredon the ground (perfectly

possible),shift suddenlyindirection

andresumesouthwardagain.Contrived

sounding?What about the blinking

 

white light? Unlessthe remains of

somehoax are discovered,

 

orpranksters

confessto someingeniouscontraption,

a conclusion of "true anomaly" will

be one of two "economical"solutions

in this case.

 

NOTE: UFOs and lFOs alike can fail to

appear on radar for a wide variety of

technicalreasons.

 

TIME DURATION WITNESSES

 

CASE TYPE DATE

3-9-1I NL 7-19-78 9:30-10PM 2-3 min. 4

 

A 3S-year old teacherwas driving

through this suburban area in the

companyof his wife, a 28-year old

nurse, when they spotted this

uniformly-illuminated a

 

form against

 

Sd

 

clear dark sky. The couple stopped the

 

)

car to confirm that it reallYwas

motionlessin the sky. lt lookedround

 

 

,i"r

 

ed in the front with an amber light

that looked as if it were shining

througha translucent materialand was

as wide as a full moon. The couple

 

7-22-78 1:15 PM 2-3 min.

 

3-9-28

 

A retired couple, he71, she 67, was

attractedoutdoorsby a noiseunlike

any they hadheard after livingnextto

 

LangleyAFB. VA for 30years.Flying

NE from an overheadpositionwas a

silver/greyform (asreconstructed

 

here)

aslargeas a full moon. lt was sharply

defined,had lines across its surface,

 

PLACE

 

Hudson,NY

 

RADAR_VISUAL CASE NEARKANSASCITY

 

HEAVILY-WITNESSED

 

cAsE #3-9-163

 

This UFO is certainlY an unusual.

dynamicone,puttingon a show over

Belton,MO that could be seen in three

neighboringsuburbssouth of Kansas

City, with dozens of witnesses reporting

it independently to law enforcement

agencies and the localAir Force

base(whowerealsowatchingit).Thus,

it is distinguished with

 

as the IUR case

the greatestnumber of witnesses.lt

alsoappearsto have been seen briefly

on radar.lf thiseventwas based on a

hoax. it would be unprecedentedlY

elaborate.

 

ENVIFlONMENT

 

DATE: Tuesday,August 8,1978.

STARTINGTIME: 9:40 PM

PLACE: Belton, Missouri,east of

 

RichardGebaur Air Force Base.a

largely residential areain a suburban

city about 15 miles south of downtown

KansasCity.

 

APPEAFlANCE

 

Most of the witnesses indicated that

they saw a large red light dropping

"flares". One individual, Mr. Joseph

Staudinger,Jr., was fortunate enough

to have been directly underneath the

UFO and providedthe sketches seen

above.Notethat the rows of red lights

were rotating like a turntable. while

the white strobe lights beaming in

 

tvifnesssketch of UFO

 

front of and beh ind the object remained

fixed in the direction of travel. When

overhead,Staudingersawthe object as

large-lookingas a full moon (%-degree

of arc); coupled with the elevation

(estimatedfrom triangulation) of 2800

 

feet,this providesa roughoverallsize

of 25 feet. Binoculars at the Air Force

base revealed a faint white blinking

light unseen by the tower witnesses

with the naked eye accompanying the

red lights.

 

MOTION

 

Two particularly articulate reports

enableus at this stage to triangulate

the location and height of the object

throughout its trajectory. One viewpoint

comesfrom Sgt. GaryHavensat

the Air Forcebase air tower; the other

is providedby Mr. Joseph Staudinger,

alsoformerly in the Air Force.who

saw the UFO fly directly over his

house on Park Drive (a north-south

street) and parallelto the street.His

houseis two milesSEof the tower at

the base.Key pointsof discussion are

numbered below on the map and

discussed(all times are approximate,

based on interpolations between

known endpoints) :

 

119:40 PM.'Staudinger,his wife, his

14-vearold son and his neighbors

(who notified the Air Force base)

watched the object come from the

south over the tree line.

219:42 PM: UFO passedvirtually

overhead on Park Drive. This is the

point where the tower at Richard

Gebaur first took note of it, about 15

to 20' up. This triangulates to a height

of about 2800 feet. No noise was


 

heard.

 

319:47 PM: The object stoppedhere,

accordingto both witnesses.For the

Air Force base witnesses,it wasnow

due east about 15ouP. For the Park

Drive witnesses,it was due north,

about 15 degrees uP.Thisworksout

to 2000 feet, adoptingthe elevation

anglesliterally. The UFO flew at

roughlya levelaltitude,then,taking

about five minutes to travel from the

Staudingerhouse to a Position 1.4

miles north of it. This works out to a

speed of 17 m.p.h. -more like a

balloon than a plane,or possiblya

helicopter.Sgt. Havens estimated the

distancenow to be 314to 1%miles

away...anexcellentguess,sincethe

UFO works out to a distanceof 1.4

milesfrom the tower. Another indi'

 

:

 

vidual.on the base,standingabout

two blocks dueeastof the tower, also

confirmedthe "due east"positionfor

 

the UFO once it had stoPPed.Since

the base has no radar of its own,

HavenscalledKansasCity International

Airport, over 30 miles north of the

action,to see if they couldtrack"anything

east of the base".ControllerHal

Robertsconfirmedthat they could,

but that it was intermittent,appearing

as a non-transponding

 

targetonly 7 or

8 sweepsout of 30. InterestinglY,

Havensdid not clue Robertsat KCI

how far he should look; Yet when

Allan HendrycalledRobertsdirectly

andaskedhow far the targetwasfrom

the small paintedline indicatingthe

runwayat RichardGebaur,he told us

"one and one-half miles", which

correspondsperfectlY to the now-

 

triangulatedposition.

It washerein the ten-minute hover'

 

ing positionthat the UFO performed

its spookiest stunt. seenby virtually

everyonewith whom we sPoke:it

dropped a red/orangef lare down

toward the ground. Everyone agreed,

however,that the flarecould be seen

fizzling out beforeit hit the ground.

Priorto this, a whiteflash of lightwas

seenby both Havens and Staudinger.

It looked like it had occured beneath

the red lights through binoculars(as

seenfrom the tower).The Park Drive

 

witnessesactuallyheard a loud "pop"

or "crack" soundaccompanyingthe

flash'Thetower witnesses didn't hear

the noise, but an airmannamedLucas

near the maingateof the base did; in

fact, he reported severalsuch"explosions".

 

 

41 70:00 PM.' Now the object rose

straightup. as seen from bothvantage

points.Thiswas a slow process,taking

15 to 20 minutes.Fromthetower,the

red lights were seen to disaPPear

suddenlyat what wasguessedto be an

increasein altitude of 4000 feet'

 

Anothergoodguess,accordingto the

triangulations:using their elevation

 

angleof 45o as a moreaccurateguage

of height,the heightof theobjectwas

equalto the original distance:about

 

1.4 miles.Although the red lights

could no longer be seen with the

nakedeye,the useof binocularscontinuedto

revealthedimflashingwhite

light. Havenswatchedit movesouthboundnowfor

"about a quartermile".

It then turnedabruptlynorthbound

againstill at a slow sPeed.Then it

drifted ESE, climbing to a higher

altitudeat an estimated speedgreater

than 200 knots, at Position(5) at

10:23PM.

Meanwhile.backat Park Drive, the

rising,levellingoff,north-south"glitch"

and ESE departure wereall seenas a

straighttrajectorythatextendedup to

15oeast of their zenith (overhead).

 

Thisis much furtheralongits trajectory

for the red lightsto disappear thanwas

seenfrom the side view of the Air

Force tower, but then the Park Drive

witnesseswere underneath it (at

position(6)).

 

 

Incidentally,oncethe UFO started

 

risingup, HavenscalledRobertsatthe

Kansas City airport again,but that

controllersaw nothingon his radar

screen now --a disaPPointment.

 

All of the abovefigures are subject

to error, of course, as theYarebased

on the elevationangleestimates.That

the UFO'sflightpathwasalignedwith

the north-south Park Drive was

fortunate.Total Duration:about 45

minutes.

 

WEATHEFI

 

Thetowerwitnessesat RichardGebaur

 

notedthe sky to beclear,with winds

from the SSE(170') at 3 to 6 knots'

These wind conditions were not

variableduring the event' Note that

the motion of the object is, thus, fairly

consistentwith wind directionfor the

first half of the sighting,but not the

secondhalf.

 

WITNESS

FlEACTION

 

 

amongall

of IUR's UFO casesbY the numberof

individualwitnessesinvolved.Richard

 

GebaurAFB had numerouswitnesses

on their own property;they also were

"flooded" with callsfrom civilians.

Accordingto a detectiveon the Belton

policeforce,their agencyreceived20

calls. ReportedlY, neighboring

Grandviewand KansasCitY Police

departmentsalsoreceivedcalls.There's

no questionthat somethingwasin the

sky overBeltonthat night.Nor canit

be claimed that Press attention

generateda lot of falsesightings,since

the case miraculouslYescaPedthe

 

The sighting is distinguished

 

attentionof thelocalnewsmedia(who

normallywatch policeblotterslike a

hawk). In IUR's exPerience, a huge

turnout of independent witnessesfor a

sighting usually foretells a ready

 

(e.9"

 

commonplace exPlanation

meteors,ad planesandotherconspicuous

lFOs),but what couldthis one

Od?Sgt. Gary Havens,an air traffic

controllerwithnineyearsof experience

saidit was "somethinglike l've never

seenbefore."lUR is still intheprocess

of coordinatingthe manywitnessesto

the event; any new informationwill

appearin a futureissue.Obviously.in

acaselikethis, the routine"suspicions"

normallyappliedto repor{ing witnesses

canbe relaxed considerablY.

 

ON THE CASE

 

Original source: direct call from

Richard Gebaur Air Force Base

securitypoliceto the Centerfor UFO

Studies'Hotline.Comprehensive

 

inter

 

 

views were conducted with the

 

principalwitnessesdiscussedherewith

 

 

in 24 hours of the event bY Allan

 

Hendry.Morewitnessesarestillbeing

 

contacted,but so far, most of them

 

havenot watched the objectascom

 

 

pletely or carefullyas the witnesses

 

mentioned.TheYdo all note a large

 

red light "making exPlosions"or

 

dropping"red lights".

 

The largenumberof indePendent

 

witnesses precluded the need to

 

conduct routine searchesfor more;

 

thereis no questionin this particular

 

casethat somethingwasthere. In an

 

effortto probethe nature of the target

 

a little further; IUR obtajned the

 

cooperationof the FAA's Air Route

 

Traffic ControlCenterin Olathe, KS

 

in securinga computerprintoutof all

 

of the radartargetsin that vicinity,

 

both "raw" andtransponder-equipped.

 

for the durationof the event'Several

 

time frames are shownhere,restricted

 

in area to the vicinitY of Richard

 

GebaurAir Force Base. Targetsthat

 

have been assignedlettercodesareair

 

 

craft with transponders;a separate

 

chart shows their transPonder

 

f requencies and altitudes.The Air

 

Force Base is coded as "GVW".

 

Targetswithout transponders(includ

 

 

ing light aircraft,"false"targetsand

 

 

presumablY-UFOs) are dePictedas

 

periods(.)andplussigns(+)'Plus signs

 

are more solid targets'Now halfway

 

throughthe event,a C-130 madean

 

approachto the basefrom 10milesto

 

the south. Whenthe pilot approached

 

to within 3 miles,he was askedif he

 

could see the UFOvisually.Hecould,

 

but he wasreluctantto getanywhere

 

near"the explosions". Havensrecalled

 

that he cut due westof the baseone

 

mile,cut to the south for threemiles

 

and turnednorthboundagainto land

 


 

,i

 

:j

 

a

 

:

 

at the base. These maneuvers showuP

clearly on the printout.Anothernontranspondingtargetcan

also be seen

flying NNE through the area,but

whereis the UFO? lt should appear as

a dot or a plussignto theright of the

"GVW" where the tower is; in the

periodwhereit is hovering and rising

straightup, it should be aboutl%"

away.Oneframe with a goodfit doth

not a radar match make, esPeciallY

when ground clutter "dots" keep

poppingup sporadically. Not that it

should appear constantly, since

ARTCC controllersclaim at best a

 

50% successrate in receiving "raw"

 

radarreturns(without the aid of a

transponder).lt's possiblethat we are

being told something here about the

 

nature of the object's tenuousness

when the radar returns from it are so

sooradic.

 

A NOTE ON RADAR COMPUTER

PRINTOUTS:This marks the third

occasionthat IUR hassecuredaTrack

AnalysisProgram(TAP) on a UFO

that promisedradar returnability. The

first was for the helicopterencounter

in Charlotte,North Carolina (lUR,

Mar. 1978). Not only did the UFO fail

to show up on radar, so did the nontranspondinghelicopter!

The second

instancewas for the Ocala. Florida

radar-visualcase #3-6-40 (lUR, June

 

These reports are of intermediate stature.

They are UFOs in the sense that we don't

know what they are, but for a variety of

 

stated reasons(distance. poor details, single

 

1978);this one is still being examined.

While there is a possibletargetex'

ecutinga hairpinreversalof motion,

we still need better time estimates

from the witnesses to establish that it

isn'tjust a coincidental"false" target

(there are many on this Printout).

 

ALTEFINATIVE

EXPLANATIONS

 

ASTRONOMY,METEOROLOGY:No

interpretationisPossible.

 

AERONAUTICS:The sketch of the

rows of red lightsimmediatelybrings

to mind our oldfriend. the advertising

plane.lndeed,one was in the area two

hourspreviousto the sightings. The

 

kind of rotation,theflashes.pops,and

 

droppingflares,theflightpathandthe

 

failureto appear on radarwhenother

 

low-flyingplanes(likethe C-130 with

 

a computer-indicatedaltitude of

 

1200 feet)drrCshowup serveto rule

 

this out.

 

SOCIOLOGY:Remarkably,no Press

attentionwasgivento this case in the

local news mediaat all. There can be

no claim, then, that all of the

witnesseswere simply jumPingon a

"UFOlogicalbandwagon".The consistencyfrom

story to story is also

quiteexceptional.

 

witness, etc.) they are not worthy of the

closest scrutiny. Namesof witnesses in this

category are generally withheld unless the

news media have already revealled them.

 

CC|NCLUSIONS

 

That an undeniablymysterious

object was seen over the skies of

Belton, Missouriappears to be undeniable.

A truly anomalous UFO?

For once,thereseemsto be only one

other credible alternative:a truly

bizarreprankballoon,constructedin a

way that would suggest a slowly'

rotatingrectangulararray of redlights!

This would account for the slowspeed,

the initial conformance to wind

direction,the characteristic"dropping

burning material",and the tenuous

radar returns. For this to work out,

though,the windborne propulsionof

the balloon wouldhaveto stop abruptly

for an extended period and the

balloon would have to lose ballast

(thedroppingmaterial?)to rise;then

the winds aloft (1%milesup) would

have to be directly opposite those

 

measuredon the ground (perfectly

possible),shift suddenlyindirection

andresumesouthwardagain.Contrived

sounding?What about the blinking

 

white light? Unlessthe remains of

somehoax are discovered,

 

orpranksters

confessto someingeniouscontraption,

a conclusion of "true anomaly" will

be one of two "economical"solutions

in this case.

 

NOTE: UFOs and lFOs alike can fail to

appear on radar for a wide variety of

technicalreasons.

 

TIME DURATION WITNESSES

 

CASE TYPE DATE

3-9-1I NL 7-19-78 9:30-10PM 2-3 min. 4

 

A 3S-year old teacherwas driving

through this suburban area in the

companyof his wife, a 28-year old

nurse, when they spotted this

uniformly-illuminated a

 

form against

 

Sd

 

clear dark sky. The couple stopped the

 

)

car to confirm that it reallYwas

motionlessin the sky. lt lookedround

 

 

,i"r

 

ed in the front with an amber light

that looked as if it were shining

througha translucent materialand was

as wide as a full moon. The couple

 

7-22-78 1:15 PM 2-3 min.

 

3-9-28

 

A retired couple, he71, she 67, was

attractedoutdoorsby a noiseunlike

any they hadheard after livingnextto

 

LangleyAFB. VA for 30years.Flying

NE from an overheadpositionwas a

silver/greyform (asreconstructed

 

here)

aslargeas a full moon. lt was sharply

defined,had lines across its surface,

 

PLACE

 

Hudson,NY

 

guessedit was really as large as a football

field. No noise was heard.They

resumeddriving, occasionally losing

sightof the broadlightsourcebehind

trees.Arriving at a friend's houseon

the sameroad, they joined another

 

couple to watch it but the lights

suddenlywent out. ThirtY seconds

later, a roar could beheard originating

from the samepartof the sky, moving

off to the SE.

 

6 Ventura,Cl

 

and made a noise like a card flapping

against bicycle spokes.This noise

grewfainter as it flewstraightawayto

the NEanddisappeared

 

in the distance.

Seenagainsta clear daylight sky in a

suburbanresidentialarea;no additional

reportswereobtained.

 


 

guessedit was really as large as a football

field. No noise was heard.They

resumeddriving, occasionally losing

sightof the broadlightsourcebehind

trees.Arriving at a friend's houseon

the sameroad, they joined another

 

couple to watch it but the lights

suddenlywent out. ThirtY seconds

later, a roar could beheard originating

from the samepartof the sky, moving

off to the SE.

 

6 Ventura,Cl

 

and made a noise like a card flapping

against bicycle spokes.This noise

grewfainter as it flewstraightawayto

the NEanddisappeared

 

in the distance.

Seenagainsta clear daylight sky in a

suburbanresidentialarea;no additional

reportswereobtained.

 


 

 

 

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