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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1999 > Jan > Jan 4

Re: C. B. Moore's '49 Sighting

From: David Rudiak <DRudiak@aol.com>
Date: Sun, 3 Jan 1999 22:10:29 EST
Fwd Date: Mon, 04 Jan 1999 11:47:33 -0500
Subject: Re: C. B. Moore's '49 Sighting


>From: Brad Sparks <RB47Expert@aol.com>
>Date: Sun, 20 Dec 1998 13:31:03 EST
>Fwd Date: Mon, 21 Dec 1998 12:21:07 -0500
>Subject: Re: C. B. Moore's '49 Sighting

>>From: David Rudiak <DRudiak@aol.com>
>>Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 14:06:06 EST
>>Fwd Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 21:00:58 -0500
>>Subject: Re: C. B. Moore's '49 Sighting

<snip>

>I am providing this background in order to establish that my
>credentials as a long-time UFO investigator are secure and that
>I am not a knee-jerk debunker, though I am a serious critical
>thinker and find much of "UFOlogy" today to be based on a flimsy
> house of cards and chimera.

I was certainly not personally criticizing Brad Sparks, although
I was aware that he had proposed the "bouncing meteor"
explanation for the 1949 Arrey sighting of Charles Moore and
others. However, I was criticizing his meteor theory because I
felt it to be seriously deficient for the reasons I enumerated
in my original post.

<snip>

>Back in 1979 I first realized that the Charles B. Moore case of
>April 24, 1949, near Arrey, New Mexico, appeared to be that of
>an escaping or tangential meteor, i.e., a meteor that skipped
>back out into space instead of burning up in the earth's
>atmosphere or crashing into the ground as a meteorite. Since
>that time I've been compiling research data on similar such
>cases.

>Here are some answers to the recently posted objections to
>explaining Moore's 1949 sighting as an escaping or tangential
>meteor:

>1. Approx. 60-second Duration: The Rocky Mountain Fireball of
>Aug 10, 1972, was tracked by classified Air Force DSP
>missile-warning satellites which proved for the first time in
>history that a meteor had entered the earth's atmosphere then
>bounced back into outer space. The DSP sensor data so far
>declassified shows a tracking duration of 101.2 seconds, and a
>number of ground observers were able to observe it nearly
>horizon-to-horizon for upwards of 60 seconds. If the Arrey
>meteor braked close to escape velocity it could extend these
>durations perhaps by 20% or more.

I was unaware of this information. Thanks. Obviously a meteor
could last for 60 seconds. So toss that objection in the trash
can. On the other hand, all other aspects of the 1972 daylight
fireball were very unlike the Moore 1949 sighting. The 1972
fireball was very obvious and attracted the attention of
thousands. It was bright, large, with a long flaming tail, and
constantly spitting off pieces of molten matter. And it flew on
a ballistic trajectory.

>2. No contrail or "meteor train." Most meteors do not leave a
>"train" (the technical term in meteoritics for what we would
>perhaps better term a "contrail").

That's because the vast majority of meteors are little more than
specks of dust. Yet what Brad Sparks is proposing is a very
substantial chunk of matter that could endure high speed passage
through our atmosphere for at least a minute without burning up.
This will inevitably produce the spectacular characteristics of
the 1972 fireball, i.e., large, bright flaming fireball,
pronounced trail, etc. Yet NONE of these characteristics were
associated with the Arrey 1949 sighting.

I would very much like to know of any documented daylight,
long-duration fireball sightings in which there was no
associated trail. Even an artificial object like the space
shuttle which is designed NOT to disintegrate (or more
accurately, disintegrate very slowly and in a very controlled
fashion), leaves a very pronounced trail (at least at night when
I have seen it). It also appears to be much larger than a minute
of arc (the size of the Arrey object). The shuttle fireball was
probably on the order of 10-15 minarc, or 1/3 to 1/2 the size of
the moon. Furthermore, in returning from orbit, it would be
flying considerably slower than a tangential escaping meteor,
yet it still puts on a spectacular show from frictional heating.
Not so the Arrey object.

>2a. Seeming lack of other witnesses. This is a problem for a UFO
>as it is for a meteor -- why wasn't the UFO seen by numerous
>people?

A characteristic of many true unknowns (noted clear back in 1947
by Gen. Schulgen in his infamous memo) is their vertical
characteristic, i.e. they tend to appear and disappear in a
vertical direction, and operate, and hence are seen, over a
correspondingly small area.

This, however, is not the case with these long-lived tangential
fireballs, such as in 1972. They can travel hundreds of miles
horizontally while in our atmosphere, put on a spectacular
pyrotechnic show that draws people's attention, and are
potentially visible along the length of the path for tens of
thousands of square miles.

E.g., if the Arrey object averaged 6 miles/sec over 60 seconds,
then it travelled about 360 miles during its observation. If it
was at an altitude of 60 miles, then observers to either side of
it over 600 miles away would still potentially see it above the
horizon (assuming no line-of-sight obstructions). At least where
Moore and company made their sighting, the skies were completely
clear. This leaves a potential observable area from all
directions of over half a million square miles. Even if we chop
this by 80% because of daylight, obstructions, etc., we still
get over 100,000 sq. miles of observation area. Yet as far as
anyone knows, there weren't any other reports of this object,
completely unlike typical major fireball events.

Aside from the lack of normal spectacular fireball features, I
suggested this lack of witnesses might also be partly due to the
sparse population in the region of the sighting. While this is
generally true, it is also true that they would have lost sight
of the object when it passed very near Albuquerque, the most
densely populated area of the state. So again, one must wonder
where all the sightings were.

>Perhaps the meteor/UFO WAS seen but we don't have the
>reports because the reports are inaccessible in government files
>or reports were never made at all (Stan Friedman's famous
>overused dictum "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"
>applies here). In late April 1949 the corrosive Sidney Shallett
>article in Saturday Evening Post had just come out which mocked
>and ridiculed UFO witnesses and their reports, and several weeks
>earlier Project SIGN had been transformed into the unfriendly
>anti-UFO Project GRUDGE, hence witness reporting was officially
>stigmatized and no doubt stymied.

I find this theory for lack of witnesses extremely strained. The
most probable reason that nobody else reported this object was
because it was extremely tiny and not very bright. It was not
the sort of thing to draw attention to itself. The Moore group
seemingly only caught sight of this otherwise inconspicuous
object because 1) It was part of their job to be intensely
watching the sky at the time, and 2) it happened to be in the
same region of the sky as their tracked balloon.

As for active suppression of eyewitness accounts, we could
compare this event with another fireball that occurred in the
area just a few months before and was seen by thousands for
hundreds of miles in all directions. This was the giant green
fireball of Jan. 30, 1949 seen all over northern New Mexico and
into the Texas Panhandle. This prompted an extensive secret
investigation by the Air Force, a memo of searching for a
crashed saucer, and secret conferences to discuss the findings.
At one of these conferences, it was noted that attempts were
indeed made to keep mention of the event out of the media.
However, I have a front page article from the Albuquerque
Journal of Jan. 31 (also one from the Santa Fe New Mexican) in
which a number of locals reported seeing the object. Dr. LaPaz,
the local meteor expert and lead Air Force investigator, also
invited the public to send him any reports. The Santa Fe New
Mexican article was from United Press, which means the event was
probably mentioned in a fair number of papers throughout the
country. Frankly it would be pretty difficult to keep something
like this out of the newspapers.

Another interesting point is that LaPaz eventually triangulated
the trajectory to the panhandle of Texas. Like the Arrey object,
this object also flew horizontally. However, it was at much
lower altitude than the Arrey object, no more than 10 miles
high, and visible for only a few seconds, and yet was seen by a
large number of people, obviously very low on the horizon, from
Albuquerque, some 250 miles away. One pilot reported seeing it
from Gallup, about 400 miles distant. This just emphasizes that
major fireballs can be seen from surprisingly large distances,
but seemingly not the Arrey object, which practically passed
right over Albuquerque. In all fairness, however, the Jan. 30
fireball happened just after nightfall, which would make the
event much more noticeable to people.

>3. Object's shape. The object could not possibly have had a
>"well-defined shape" if as reported by Moore he was unable to
>obtain a "hard or clear focus, and no good detail was
>observable."

Moore reported getting glimpses of it through the theodolite as
he attempted to track it. He reported it being elliptical in
shape, 2-1/2 to 3 times as long as it was wide. He could see
that it nearly filled the field of view of his 25 power
telescope. From this he deduced that it was approximately 100
feet in length.

> The object was much too small to be seen with the
>naked eye (0.02 degree is at the limit of resolution by the
>human eye)

Doesn't that alone strike you as a little weird for a
long-duration fireball? Even speck-of-dust shooting stars
produce glowing paths that are at least .02 deg (or 1 minarc)
wide. Remember this "meteor" would have to have very substantial
mass to survive long transit through the atmosphere. It's
streaking through our atmosphere at a bare minimum of 5 miles
per second, probably faster. It's going to be blazing hot from
friction. The surface is rapidly being melted away. The
surrounding air is likewise extremely hot and ionized.  This
creates a large glowing mass, much larger than the actual object
itself. People report big, bright fireballs. Descriptions like
"a quarter of the size of the full moon" are typical. But this
thing was tiny and scarcely noticeable, even though it was
bright enough to clearly stand out from the daylight sky.

So again we run into this conundrum. A meteor would have be a
big mass to survive a long passage through the atmosphere. Thus
it should have created a big, bright, flaming fireball with a
prominent trail. Yet this object had none of these
characteristics.

> so the only detail that could have been seen would
>have had to have been observed through the theodolite. Such a
>rapidly moving object would have been difficult to keep within
>the extremely narrow field of view of the theodolite (FOV
>roughly the same size as the object about 0.02 deg.), at 5
>degrees/second this would mean a movement of about 250 fields of
>view per second!

A very experienced user of a theodolite, as Moore was, can track
a smoothly moving object using the unaided eye with its large
field of view to guide the theodolite while simultaneously
looking through the eyepiece of the scope with the other eye. It
is thus possible to obtain glimpses of the object even under
these very unfavorable conditions. I have done something similar
many times on the guide scope of my reflecting telescope when
following something like a jet plane. This is actually much more
awkward than in the Moore situation, since the scope is on an
equatorial mount and is big and bulky. I have even been able to
track a plane with some success looking solely through the 50X
eyepiece of the main scope without benefit of the unaided eye to
maintain position. Once the object is located, it is usually
possible to anticipate its movement and move the scope to keep
up with it. In short, Moore very likely got a number of glimpses
of the object through the scope just like he said.

>The object disappeared into the glare of the sun about midway
>through the sighting and the course seemed to also change about
>that time. Meteor fragmentation probably occurred at that point
>which was not visible due to the sun (see next point for more
>discussion on this).

This was not the only major course change, at least two others
occurring toward the end of the sighting when they weren't
looking into the sun. Fragmentation was not observed. In any
case, fragmentation could not possibly cause the huge course
changes that were observed, spelled out in more detail below.

> Small fragments could have broken off at
>other points which would not have been visible to the naked eye
>because of the small size, and not visible through the
>theodolite because it was out of focus

I don't understand why the theodolite would have been out of
focus. They were initially tracking a balloon at some distance
from them. The theodolite would be focused at infinity at all
times.

> or because the main
>object filled or dominated the small field of view thus blocking
>the split-second view of any small fragments.

If you compare this object with the 1972 one, people with their
unaided eyes had no problems at all seeing bright, spark-like
fragments continually breaking off the main body in the 1972
meteor. That was also a daylight meteor. But nobody reported
seeing any fragments at all with the Arrey meteorite despite 60
seconds of observation.

The fact is there is NO supporting evidence that there was any
fragmentation of this object at any point in its flight.

>If fragments flew
>off at angular velocities comparable to the main body but in
>differing directions, then even if a fragment could have been
>seen across as much as half of the theodolite's field of view,
>it would have been visible for only about 0.002 second (2
>milliseconds), too brief to have been seen at all. The human
>retina's refresh rate or "flicker speed" (as with movie camera
>and television frame speeds) is about 20 to 30 milliseconds.
>Nothing in sight for less than this interval can be seen unless
>it emits a powerful enough flash of light as to register on the
>retina despite the brevity, and small meteor fragments by
>definition would inherently not have been as bright as the main
>body.

Which was already anomalously dim for a long-lived meteor
fireball.

Once again I find Brad Sparks arguing that everything that
should have been there was miniscule or dim to the point of
invisibility, yet this was a meteor massive enough to survive a
very long period of time.

>4. Variable or Linear Trajectory. As Rudiak points out, the
>account obtained by James McDonald from Moore in about 1967
>indicates a purely linear or ballistic trajectory consistent
>with a meteor. However, the original azimuth/elevation data from
>the theodolite in 1949 do indicate a course change.

>But it must
>be recognized that a meteor that fragments MUST change course,
>by the same laws of conservation of momentum that are observed
>every day with subatomic particles that fragment with a "main
>body" (the heavier particle) being deflected from its path while
>smaller particles fly off in differing directions.

Well, no, not really. Energy also has to be conserved. The
object could break in half, but unless there is some sort of
energy to separate the halves laterally, both halves would
continue on their original course flying side by side.

So what would a course change require? First of all we're
talking about a very large course change -- not 1 or 2 degrees
but 40 or 50 degrees. Let's call it 45 degrees to keep it
simple. At 45 deg, the new sideways velocity will equal the
original forward velocity. Thus if the "meteor" is moving
forward at 20,000 mph, the new perpendicular velocity vector
required for the course change will likewise be 20,000 mph! A
high velocity like this would require some massive explosion,
which would probably shatter the meteor and end its flight right
then and there.

Nor can the main body of the meteor simply eject smaller
fragments to effect such an enormous course change. E.g., if a
fragment 10% of the main mass was ejected sideways, what would
its velocity have to be to propel the main mass in the opposite
direction by 20,000 mph? Momentum conservation tells us it would
have to fly off at 180,000 mph!!

On the other hand, if Moore and company lost sight of the main
mass after the explosion and instead tracked a fragment ejected
by an explosion at 20,000 mph, then why would this smaller
fragment seem no different in appearance from the original main
object? In fact, Brad Sparks is arguing that ejected smaller
fragments would be invisible to the ground observers to try to
get around the problem that the ground observers reported to
fragmentation of the object at all.

No matter how one goes at this, the scenario required for the
large course change seems preposterous. And this wasn't the only
large course change.

> In addition,
>a meteor with a random aerodynamic shape and orientation could
>"bounce" in a HORIZONTAL direction just as well as in the
>VERTICAL direction, without ANY FRAGMENTATION.

I don't know that that has ever been observed with real meteors.
I've seen thousands of shooting stars and not one has ever
noticeably changed course. And if the above argument had any
merit, these mostly tiny grains of sand should be affected much
more strongly by atmospheric buffering than some big mass.

I would also like to know how an object of random aerodynamic
shape and orientation would be deflected in a strictly nonrandom
direction. Wouldn't it be deflected a little bit one way, then
another, so that the net course change would again end up
approximately zero? I seriously doubt that any postulated
hypothesis such as a "boomerang" or "curve ball" meteor would
stand up to careful scrutiny.

The only thing I can imagine that would cause a significant
course change would be the so-called Coriolis force. An object
moving that fast on a northward ballistic trajectory would
appear to deflect to the left a few degrees over a minute's time
because of the rotation of the Earth underneath it.

>4a. The Object's Rise at the End. The approximately 4-degree
>ascent of the Arrey object in 1949 is roughly comparable to the
>2-degree rise of the Rocky Mountain Fireball in 1972 that was
>measured by DSP satellite triangulation. Given the round-off
>errors in the figures hurriedly taken down by Moore's crew
>(notice they did NOT report theodolite readings to a minute of
>arc or 0.017 deg. as the instrument was capable of providing),
>the 25 and 29-degree readings could easily have been +/- 0.5
>degree each or even +/- 1 degree each, so the "rise" could have
>been from say 25.5 to 28.5 degrees or even 26 to 28 degrees.
>Thus the Arrey object might really have ascended by the same
>2-degree angle as did the Rocky Mountain Fireball.

First of all, at the point that they noticed the object rising,
the object had for a short time ceased to move relative to their
position, i.e., it was moving in a line-of-sight direction
directly away from them (or possibly toward them or even
hovering if an artificial object, but lets assume away as a good
meteor should go). This represents yet another drastic course
change. First the object was in the SSW at 45 deg elevation
heading eastward. Then in turned in the ESE at about 60 deg
elevation and headed northward, a deflection of some 40 or 50
degrees. This alone would have meteor experts rolling their eyes
and exclaiming "Impossible." Then this "meteor" arcs northward
and downward across the sky until it is in the NNE at an
elevation of 25 deg where it ceases to descend and the azimuth
is no longer changing. It's now moving directly away from the
observation point.

If you do even a crude sketch of this, it is obvious that once
again the "meteor" has changed course by a whopping 40 or 50
degrees, not 2 degrees. This is some meteor!

At that point the object appeared to rise in elevation by 4
degrees. This rise occurred over a number of seconds (as I
recall about 10 seconds), so this angular movement was an order
of magnitude less than the earlier 5 deg/sec. One would assume
the accuracy of their tracking would improve correspondingly.

But even if one again fudges the data and reduces the elevation
change to 2 degrees rather than 4 degrees, please note this is a
_projected_ change in angle, not an absolute change. They
weren't observing the object from the side but from in back as
it moved off in a more-or-less radial direction. Thus the actual
absolute deflection upward was greater than the projected
angular elevation change from their observation point.

Finding the actual deflection would require knowing the speed of
the object as it moved radially away, its height above the
ground, and the duration of the elevation change. E.g., if the
object were 60 miles above the earth at the beginning of its
rise, traveling at 5 miles per second, and observed for 10
seconds, then the actual deflection from original path is around
6 degrees if the _projected_ elevation change was 2 degrees. And
if the elevation change was their reported 4 degrees, then
actual deflection would have been around 12 degrees.

This is not as drastic as the two other course changes of around
40-50 degrees, but still considerably more than the benchmark 2
degree deflection of the Rocky Mountain fireball.

>5. Speed. Moore ASSUMED escape velocity in order to estimate an
>altitude and distance to the object, since quite logically the
>object clearly was not headed for the ground and did appear to
>have ESCAPED the earth's gravity or at the very least have
>entered earth orbit

Please note that this almost directly contradicts what Brad
Sparks says further below, in which he declares that no one
thought of an escaping meteor before. Well obviously they WERE
thinking in terms of an escaping something or other. If it had
characteristics of a meteor they undoubtedly would have thought
escaping meteor. But it didn't.

>(as had long been suspected of the great
>fireball meteor procession seen by numerous observers from
>Ontario to New Jersey and Bermuda in 1913).

Here I feel Brad Sparks is trying to explain one highly
anomalous event by comparing it to another, even more anomalous
one, which has also never been adequately explained. Affixing
the word "meteor" to both events does not make either one so,
considering the many factors that were completely unlike normal,
well-behaved meteor fireballs.

Let's quickly look at the 1913 fireball procession to see just
how extraordinary it was. (The following information BTW was
taken from a review of the sighting in Arthur Bray's book "The
UFO Connection.")  It was originally studied by California
astronomer Dr. C. A. Chant, who noted some of the following
anomalies that left him scratching his head. There were multiple
groups of objects following right after another, some composed
of perhaps dozens of objects, and flying in perfect formation
that was retained throughout the display. Even when parts seemed
to break off, they continued to follow the parent body without
loss of speed rather than being dragged down to earth by air
friction (there were a few reported exceptions, however). And
these objects seemed to be flying relatively low, so there
should have been considerable air friction. For one thing, they
could be heard rumbling in the sky. Chant originally estimated
the altitude at only 26 miles based on available data, then
revised it upward to 34 miles. Another contemporary astronomer,
W. F. Denning, raised this to the more rarefied altitude of 38
miles. He too had big problems with the multiple fireballs not
being dragged to Earth by friction.

Most extraordinary, however, was the enormous range and duration
of the fireballs. Chance placed the minimum flight path at 2400
miles, requiring 4 to 5 minutes for each object to cover its
entire observed track. In 1968, John O'Keefe in the R.A.S.C.
Journal reported more historical data showing that the event
actually extended some 6000 miles, from Brazil to western
Canada. At the upper end of estimated speed of 10 miles/second
or 36,000 mph, this required 10 minutes of transit time. At the
lower end of the speed spectrum of 5 miles/second, which also
seemed to best-fit the seeming constant-altitude circular
trajectory of the fireball train (according to British meteor
expert M. Davidson), a transit time of 20 miles would be needed.

The problem is nobody can understand how multiple "meteors" like
this could survive such a lengthy, high-speed passage through
the atmosphere without either being burned up or dragged to
earth by friction. Chant called it "quite without parallel," "a
very exceptional occurrence," and "truly extraordinary."

Bray also quoted a "well-known astronomer who holds a high
position (who shall remain unnamed)" who wrote, "I too have been
puzzled by the "meteor" explanation and feel that, in the light
of the full UFO phenomenon, this hypothesis must be seriously
questioned."

The same, I think, applies to the 1949 Arrey sighting.

>The speeds that were posted recently (see below) are in error by
>more than 20%, they are understated,

No, not really. I just used different assumptions. See below.

>and correcting the errors
>brings us about half way even to the 35,000 mph meteor velocity
>cited, though that is not really necessary as much slower
>meteors are on record. The Rocky Mountain Fireball was tracked
>by DSP satellite to a minimum speed of 31,790 mph, for example.

Please note the operative word "minimum" here. This would be
AFTER friction and gravity had already slowed the object. During
the rest of the passage, a passive object like a meteor would
have been travelling faster.

>For an object 60 miles high at 60 degrees maximum elevation and
>an angular speed of 5 degrees/second, the slant-range distance
>is found from 60/(sin 60 degs.) = 69 miles approx. and the speed
>is about 6 miles/second or 22,000 mph (NOT 5 miles/sec or 18,000
>mph). At 80 miles high the distance is 92 miles and the speed is
>about 29,000 mph (not 24,000 mph).

However, based on Dr. James McDonald's report from the
Congressional Record, I was assuming a ballistic trajectory,
which in this sighting would have taken the object directly
overhead at closest approach and maximum angular velocity of 5
deg/sec. 60 miles high at the zenith is also 60 miles distant
from the observers. I was also merely giving this as a simple
example of how Moore's estimate of 18,000 to 25,000 mph (I used
24,000 mph) translated into altitudes of 60 to 80 miles (at the
zenith).

Now as noted previously by Brad Sparks, Moore et al were
actually working in reverse. They assumed the object probably
DID escape from earth and had a velocity somewhere between
orbital velocity of about 18,000 mph and escape velocity of
25,000 mph. From that you can estimate altitude from the rate of
angular change.

There are other ways to estimate altitude and speed. There was
no sound; therefore the object must have been higher than about
30 miles altitude. And since frictional glow of incoming objects
doesn't start until about 70 miles, the object was unlikely to
have been higher than that. 70 miles altitude at 60 degrees
elevation and 5 deg/sec would translate into a maximum speed of
25,000 mph. But conceivably it could have been half of that or
less. We still have a very slow speed for a meteor either way.

>6. No One Thought of an Escaping Meteor Before.

No, as mentioned by Brad Sparks himself, they actually did think
in terms of escape to derive estimates of speed and height. The
real problem was this object did not behave like a meteor:
highly erratic trajectory, lack of trail, etc.

> Until the 1972
>Rocky Mountain meteor was PROVEN to have escaped back into outer
>space by highly classified satellite data, NO ONE in astronomy
>recognized the existence of escaping meteors whether a Donald
>Menzel or anyone else, so obviously such a Space Age- type
>explanation was not previously considered for the Arrey case in
>pre- Sputnik 1949. In fact it was evidently considered an
>IMPOSSIBILITY.

No, this is nonsense. E.g., the 1912 event was attributed to
tangential meteors that escaped back into space by the
astronomers, like Chant, who first reported on it in 1913. They
were well aware of simple Newtonian mechanics, of orbital and
escape velocities. This was hardly new stuff. They knew, e.g.,
that a bare minimum of about 5 miles/second was needed for the
objects to maintain a circular orbital trajectory and constant
altitude and anything greater than this would cause the bodies
to eventually skip out into space. Anything less and the objects
would certainly fall to earth. Theoretically the possibility of
such a grazing collision was well known since the time of
Newton. This was hardly a "Space Age-type explanation."

That solid experimental data of an actual event was lacking
until 1972 is a whole other matter. Likewise there was no direct
evidence of neutron stars or black holes or gravitational lenses
or planets around other solar systems or neutrinos from
supernova explosions until some time after they were all
theoretically predicted, when instrumentation and observation
finally caught up with theory.

> And it doesn't matter that C. B. Moore has a
>distinguished scientific career or not, it doesn't change the
>facts of the sighting. To try to sway the facts of a case based
>on what did NOT enter the MINDS of numbers of fallible PEOPLE,
>instead of what the actual sighting details convey, is a tenuous
>argument at best.

What the sighting details actually convey is that this object
could not have been a meteor. And certainly a big-time debunker
like Menzel (a major 20th century astronomer whatever else we
may think of him) was not loath to explaining away any number of
UFO sightings as meteors. No, I think even Menzel had big
problems with a meteor, all of which I have spelled out ad
nauseaum: extreme nonballistic trajectory, absence of trail,
small size and dimness for such a long-lived object, etc.

>I very much enjoyed this analysis and appreciate the posting
>that provided much food for thought in the interesting technical
>comments made on this classic 1949 case.

>Brad Sparks

Likewise Brad. I just don't buy the meteor explanation. It makes
no sense.

David Rudiak

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