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U.F.O. 1956 Documentary

  1. Dec 28, 2011 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    Tonight TMC broadcast this unique film, which is mostly a reenactment of UFO events that involved and were studied by the Air Force in the late 1940s and early 50s. I believe all the information presented wrt to the individual events is consistent with conclusions of the Air Force's Project Bluebook, but without a careful review I can't be entirely sure. While there is a slight bias, esp in the introduction and the very end of the film, it is extremely balanced as these things go and is very much down to earth. The film focuses on the facts with very little speculation. Extremely dry, and typical of the military documentaries and promotional films made after WWII, this isn't an entertaining film, but it does tell the story of some major UFO events through the unique perspective of Al Chop.

    http://sohp.us/sign_oral_history_project/transcripts/chop.php

    The entire movie can be viewed online. There is some unique file footage including rare, though staged interviews with a few of the people involved in these early reports

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bGTLtdwPHM
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
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  3. Dec 28, 2011 #2

    Dotini

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    Thank you for posting this documentary, Ivan. I found it to be charming and informative. While our hairstyles, clothing and technology have changed greatly since the mid-fifties, those funny lights in the sky don't seem to have changed, and they still don't seem to pose a threat to national security. Several of the portrayals have dialogue regarding "intelligent behavior" on the part of lights. I would question this, if only on the basis of the general paranoia prevalent in the nation at the time.

    Credible sightings of relatively incredible objects? Yes, but also consistent with natural but unknown phenomena. The extraterrestrial hypothesis is still at the bottom of my list of possible explanations.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Steve
     
  4. Dec 28, 2011 #3
    It's at the top of my list. Unfortunately the rules of the forum prevent me from explaining why.
     
  5. Dec 28, 2011 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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    As did I. You are quite welcome. :smile: It is, I believe, a one-of-a-kind. I don't recall ever seeing anything quite like it.

    A couple of interesting items of note.

    Capt Ruppelt, who ran Project Bluebook, and whose character described the UFO event that was finally explained to be Jupiter shimmering through the atmosphere, went on to write the first "definitive text" on the subject, which can be read here for free. [keep in mind that in the end, he was a complete believer. So when I say "definitive", I mean it within that context only].
    http://www.nicap.org/rufo/contents.htm

    Ruppelt went on to be a leading voice for the subject. He led the effort to assemble knowledgeable, retired military personnel, which became NICAP... I think. [sorry, I'm pretty rusty on some of this]. In the end, he may have gone completely over the edge... not sure about that either, but IIRC, his theories grew ever more exotic as he got older.

    Ruppelt mentions briefly in the film that the "Jupiter event" was explained by their "contract astronomer". That of course would be Prof. Allen Hynek, who went on to become the father of [so-called] ufology - the effort to investigate these phenomena with as much scientific rigor as is possible.

    Hynek was later contracted as a consultant, by Steven Spielberg, for the making of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, in which Hynek makes a brief appearance.

    Oh yes, and apparently it was Al Chop who brought Snoopy to NASA, interestingly.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  6. Jan 1, 2012 #5

    Dotini

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    Ivan, I have read major portions of Ruppelt's book, particularly with regard to discussions among scientists, radar operators and UFO-chasing fighter pilots about whether the behavior of the objects amounted to something under intelligent control. In the 1952 Washington, D.C. incident, it was noted that one UFO hovered over the White House, and that all (14) disappeared when investigating jets were in the air, only to reappear moments after the jets left the area. Finally, one of the jets was closely surrounded by the lights, according to both the radar and the pilot. From the data and discussion presented, it would seem that limitations of equipment and human perception must forbid a conclusion as to intelligent control, pending further study as of that distant year, 1955.

    If it were to be agreed that intelligent control of the UFO lights is shown, how would that affect our thinking as to the origin of the lights? Would we be forced into a choice between the extraterrestrial hypothesis and an unknown natural physical phenomenon which displays attributes of intelligence? Or is there some other conceivable permutation?

    Respectfully submitted,
    Steve
     
  7. Jan 1, 2012 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    With respect to any particular conclusions, I'm with Chop's boss at Air Material Command - I don't have an opinion. It is a vexing problem but I won't join the believer crowd without something definitive.

    Col Halt of Rendlesham Forest fame once told me that he thought the lights that he saw were earthly but acting intelligently. So he seemed to suggest that he saw some form of unrecognized life.
     
  8. Jan 1, 2012 #7
    A terrestrial life form that glows and hovers in the forest, sends beams of energy into the nuclear weapon bunkers and can accelerate at remarkable speeds? It's time for a shave with Occam's razor on this.
     
  9. Jan 1, 2012 #8

    DaveC426913

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    And Occam's razor would lead us to what conclusion? That it's extraterrestrial? No.

    The points you mention are strange enough. They make no sense to us regardless of whether the origin is terrestrial or extraterrestrial. So to conclude that, in addition to the weird events you mention, we further posit a whole new speculative element - a completely alien presence - is adding one more unnecessary entity to the equation.

    The alien hypothesis creates more questions than it answers. So Occam's razor in this case, point towards a terrestrial origin, not an extraterrestrial origin.
     
  10. Jan 1, 2012 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    He reported light beams that seemed to be inteliigently directed. But even if we take the entire event at face value, we have to recognize that perceptions are not necessarily facts. Perhaps a beam was momentarily directed towards the bunkers in addition to other insignficant targets, randomly. The same is true for the DC event. With 14 unknowns jumping all over the sky for six hours, it isn't surprising that one was over the White House for a short time.

    And when you think about it, the light beams are really the only part that would be terribly difficult to explain. The notion of a swarm of illuminated insects, for example, isn't that hard to imagine. I'm not suggesting this as an explanation, but merely to make the point that glowing, hovering, and fast-moving, are qualities that can already be found in insects.

    Just to be clear, my understanding after our discussion was:

    1). He had no reason to believe it was extraterrestrial.
    2). It didn't appear to be any sort of technology.
    3). It appeared to be acting intelligently [with intent]

    Beyond that, he didn't care to speculate.

    This is the original report through wiki. We had a good link through a defense deptment site that is no longer valid. An official link is likely still out there but they reorganize and readdress the databases from time to time.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/1f/Haltmemo.jpg [Broken]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rendlesham_Forest_incident
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
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