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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Nov > Nov 12

Re: Saucer Error Error

From: clark@mn.frontiercomm.net [Jerome Clark]
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 10:45:42 PST
Fwd Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 17:55:07 -0500
Subject: Re: Saucer Error Error

> From: wlmss@peg.apc.org [Lawrie Williams]
> Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 06:56:43 +1000 (GMT+1000)
> To: ufo-l@mb.protree.com, updates@globalserve.net
> Subject: Re: Saucer Error Error.

> > To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
> > From: Mark Cashman <mcashman@ix.netcom.com>
> > Subject: re: UFO UpDate: Re: Saucer Error Error
> > Date: Sun, 9 Nov 1997 14:25:36 -0800

> That information was posted on the internet in 1995 on the UFO-L
> <UFO-L@PSUVM.PSU.EDU list run by Paul Carleton.

> > From: clark@mn.frontiercomm.net [Jerome Clark]
> > Date: Sun, 09 Nov 1997 23:32:38 PST
> > To: updates@globalserve.net
> > Subject: RE: UFO UpDate: Re: Saucer Error Error

> >           ...... I am not, of course, accusing him of making it up
> > himself, just of passing on some of the vast legendry surrounding
> > this non-UFO case.

> I hold liars in contempt too. I have no reason to believe the
> stuff is wrong. The book is well presented with lots of detail.

The lesson here is that just because something is in print, that
doesn't make it true.  The UFO literature has to be read
carefully, because a lot of what gets published about the subject
is either distorted or flatly false.  The Mantell incident is
among the most unreliably reported episodes in UFO

> The type of craft Mantell didn't really see was seen by many
> others during that time period. I expect they were all weather
> balloons, inversion layers or swamp gas.

No.  They saw a Skyhook balloon.  Skyhooks at the time were
part of a classified Navy experiment.  The witnesses would not
have known about them, but many recognized a balloon when
they saw one, and at least two separate observers, one in
Kentucky, the other in Tennessee, confirmed the identification
through telescopes.  Even those witnesses who were puzzled
by what they saw described a balloon and balloonlike movement.
(Which, by the way, puts a nice dent in the complacent
debunking argument which holds that witnesses can be
counted on to misdescribe what they see.)
> > .....The object Mantell died chasing, however, was a
> > Skyhook balloon launched from Camp Ripley, Minnesota.

> ATIC said there were no skyhooks in the vicinity at the time. I
> also wonder why an experienced pilot could not tell a ufo from a
> weather balloon nor knew so little about anoxia. Occam is crying
> out to tell us something here.

Skyhook was a Navy, not an Air Force, operation, and the
Project Sign (ATIC) officers of the time knew nothing of it.
Read Ruppelt's account of the Air Force investigation, not
the science-fictional version you're drawing on, for a credible
reconstruction (if an incomplete one; Ruppelt deduced that the
Skyhood was launched from southwestern Ohio; we now
know it came from Minnesota). Thus the absurd Venus
explanation.  Particularly in the early days of the UFO era,
many pilots mistook balloonsfor UFOs -- for example, Lt.
Gorman in the famous October 1948 Fargo, North Dakota,
case.  Besides, Skyhook was a much larger than normal
balloon.  As Mantell accurately characterized it just before
his tragic death, it looked like "a metallic object ... of
tremendous size."  For a treatment of all aspects of the
Mantell incident, see my The UFO Book, pages 351-56.


Jerry Clark

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