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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Sep > Sep 18

Re: 1956 Mid-Air Incident with AF Plane

From: Kenny Young <task@fuse.net>
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 1997 03:37:30 -0700
Fwd Date: Thu, 18 Sep 1997 04:45:25 -0400
Subject: Re: 1956 Mid-Air Incident with AF Plane

AIR FORCE PLANE DOWNED BY UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT
Headline above quoted directly from
July 23/24, 1956 Rocky Mountain News, Denver Colorado

The July 24, 1956 San Francisco Chronicle states as follows:

A Hamilton AFB transport plane survived a 9,000 ft. vertical dive and
landed safely with three-fourths of its tail elevator missing. The
pilot, co-pilot and crew of two all blacked out following a mysterious
mid-air incident that no one was able to explain.

Major Merwin Stenvers, the pilot, said the C-131D, was cruising at
16,000 ft. over Pixley. 'Suddenly, there was a loud bang, a severe
vibration and we went into a dive,' he said.

Major Stenvers had the plane under manual control at the time. While he
and his co-pilot battled to bring it out of the spin, the two crewmen
were scrambling to regain their feet in the cabin.

Finally, Stenvers was unable to explain what happened. He said he saw
no other planes about him. He thought a faulty port engine had caused
trouble and feathered the propeller before landing at Kern County
Airport at 11:30 a.m.

Only when he inspected the plane on the ground did he notice the badly
damaged tail section. About 36-square feet of the left elevator was
missing. The remaining portion was hanging shredded and torn. There
also was a dent about ten inches in diameter under the left stabilizer.
The two crewmen suffered minor cuts when they were thrown about the
cabin.

Major Stenvers and Capt. Marble were questioned by officials from
Edwards AFB. All men were or are part of the 2317th Air Transport
Squadron at Hamilton AFB.

	According to one UP report: One official said it looked like
	'something had struck it from above but we don't know.' Another
	UP report said: The Air Force ordered tight security measures
	into effect and stationed guards around the plane at the
	airport. An AP report said that the sheriff's office
	investigated a report that another plane had crashed nearby
	but found no evidence.

NOTE:
The July 24 edition of the San Francisco CHRONICLE stated that Air
Force investigators discovered that a jammed control device threw the
ill-fated plane into a steep dive causing the damage. Said the
Chronicle: "Earlier theories had the plane under attack from above by
everything from a meteor to a flying saucer...

This account was published in the
August 3, 1956 C.R.I.F.O. ORBIT NEWSLETTER
Vol. III - No. 5, published by LEONARD STRINGFIELD

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