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

Re: Belgian Radar-Visual

From: Edoardo Russo <edoardo.russo@torino.ALPcom.it>
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 1997 00:17:05 +0100
Fwd Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 19:39:26 -0500
Subject: Re: Belgian Radar-Visual

Hello Henny,

>Date: Tue, 11 Nov 1997 10:47:26 +0100 (MET)
>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
>From: Henny van der Pluijm <hvdp@worldonline.nl>
>Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: Re: Belgian Radar-Visual

>>Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 16:34:11 +0100
>>From: Edoardo Russo <edoardo.russo@torino.ALPcom.it>
>>Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: Re: Belgian Radar-Visual
>>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>

>>a) item 11 above is but the same as item 10

>Ah! Well, in an earlier post someone said that atmospheric
>diffraction concerned visual observations.

Indeed. Atmospheric diffraction (be it due to termperature
inversion or humidity gradients) may concern both visual
observations and radar returns, since it may reflect both visible
light and radar beams. What's wrong with that?

>cleared this up, would you please explain what this
>phenomenon actually is. How does a typical ghost/atmospheric
>diffraction behave in terms of altitude, speed, acceleration,
>heading? Do radar operators often confuse it for an aircraft?

Good Heaven! Do you mean that you know NOTHING about the 40+
years literature existing about UFOs and radar? Are you asking me
to do YOUR homework on that?

Well so, if you like. I'd suggest you to find and read AT LEAST
the following items, before continuing to pontificate over
something you apparently are not well versed in:


- G.D. Thayer, "Optical and Radar Analysis of Field Cases", pp.
115-175; R. H. Blackmere et al., "Radar and the Observation of
UFOs", pp. 655-716; both papers in Daniel Gillmor (ed.),
"Scientific Study of Unidenified Flying Objects", Bantam, New
York 1969 [lenghty and scholar treatment of "angels" and other
anomalous propagation effects on radar, both theoretical and
applied to specific UFO radar cases. The most complete treatment
of the subject yet].

- Martin Lawrence Shough, "Radar and the UFOs", in Hilary Evans &
John Spencer (eds.), "UFOs 1947-1987", Fortean Tomes, London
1987, pp. 211-229 [a rather complete ufological-oriented overview
of radar nature, capabilities and limitations, problems of
anomalous propagation, ghost reflections, radio interference,
inversion reflections, previous literature on UFOs and radar,
plus several detailed examples of famous radar UFO cases and a
bibliography].

- Auguste Meessen, "La detection radar", in Michel Bougard et
al., "Vague d'OVNI sur la Belgique - Un dossier exceptionnel",
SOBEPS, Bruxelles 1991, pp. 351-396 [a thorough analysis of that
specific radar-visual case, with all pertaining data, possible
explanations and evaluation; most instructive and THE relevant
source for any subsequent discussion].

(And I could also add Allan Hendry's "The UFO Handbook", C. Sagan
& T. Page's "UFOs: A Scientific Debate", some papers by prof.
James McDonald, plus D. Menzel's "World of Flying Saucers", to
name but the best known sources devoting at least a chapter to
radar and UFOs.)

>>b) I am not its author, merely reporting it (mmmh! the
>>messenger-shooting habit is becoming more and more common here
>>'round, isn't it?)

>OK, then please give me the name of the author. Credit where
>credit is due.

If you mean as of the Belgian 30-31 March, 1990 case, the name of
Prof. Auguste Meessen should suffice.

If you mean as of radar UFOs in general, we should dig it out
from an old issue of "Science" in 1952. For your knowledge, the
"radar angels" or "ghosts" have indeed been the subject of a lot
of scientific literature in the '50s and '60s, because of obvious
defense implications, let UFOs aside; BTW, new generation radars
have reduced the ENORMOUS number of that kind of returns since
the '70s, but they're still relatively frequent today, as any
radar operator will tell you, if you bother to ask).

>> are you meaning "25 videos
>>and one photograph exist" of THAT specific object on THAT
>>specific night, at THAT SAME specific time as the ground
>>observations AND the radar targets (well! I might have lost
>>something made known AFTER I last read SOBEPS reports), or are
>>you more generally referring to pictures and videos of OTHER
>>sightings of the Belgian wave (like the Alfarano one of a landing
>>plane)?

>No, there were 25 people waiting in the middle of the night
>with camcorders for the object to make simultaneous contact
>with ground and air radar and at that point someone said 'yes'
>and they all pushed the button. No, of course not,
>it concerns the whole flap.

Your supposed irony is out of place. Had you read the SOBEPS
reports, you'd know there WERE dozens of people out in those
night with videos and cameras, skywatching for the elusive UFOs:
some of those 25 videos you mention (but seem not to have seen,
as I have) were precisely taken by those volunteers, several
SOBEPS members and other ufologists among them (including Joel
Mesnard, editor of the French UFO Journal LDLN, who taped a light
on March 14). As for still pictures, there was more than the one
you numbered, because SOBEPS did get more than 50 during the
whole flap (and you'll find some analysis in the quoted book
about the wave, as well and in its second volume and in the
SOBEPS journal "Inforespace").

>>IMHO that would be quite a different matter.

>Yes, it would give room for the mass hallucination bogus theory.

I never heard of mass hallucinations on video or photo. Where did
you dream that from?

>Don't tell me, 6 tapes were doctored, 5 tapes were a flight of
>geese, 4 tapes were Venus, 3 other tapes were Jupiter, 6 tapes
>were atmospheric diffraction, 1 one was a private aircraft, 2
>might have been something, but we're not sure, so we don't have
>proof. Right?

Yawn! Am I discussing with somebody already convinced that EVERY
and EACH reported UFO sighting HAS to be an alien spacecraft? If
so, please tell me and I'll stop at once. I've long lost any
interest in religious quarrels.

If that's not the case, can I just remind you that the everyday
homework of us field investigators is exactly filtering the 10%
UFO signal out from a 90% of IFO noise? Each case must stand or
fall on its own data. And - unfortunate as it may be - some of
those 30 (not 25) Belgian videos WERE of planes, Jupiter and the
rest of the much-too-well-known parade of typical IFO cases. Its'
not me who claim that (I were not there to collect and evaluate
Belgian data) but my esteemed colleagues at SOBEPS (Patrick
Ferryn's analysis was published you may guess where).

>I guess that would become bogus theory 13 (The Duke was number 12
>with his miscalibrated radar). Are you sure you want to get an
>unlucky number, Eduardo?

Oh dear! If I had been aware of being called names, I wouldn't
have been standing in  this mine-field for the last twenty years,
would I? Since I've already been called nearly everything, from
"the most serious Italian ufologist" to "a CIA dupe", I think I
might well bear another one by a Henny van der Pluijm (if nothing
else, I would be in good company!).

BTW, 13 is held to be a lucky number, here in Italy. And
superstition is not a part of my weltanschaung, anyway.


Best regards.


Edoardo Russo
Centro Italiano Studi Ufologici - casella postale 82 - 10100 Torino -Italia
tel. (011) 3290279 - fax (011) 545033 - http://www.arpnet.it/~ufo



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