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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Jul > Jul 24

Re: The 1952 Tremonton Utah'Seagulls' Confirmation?

From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2007 16:24:35 +0100
Archived: Tue, 24 Jul 2007 09:06:02 -0400
Subject: Re: The 1952 Tremonton Utah'Seagulls' Confirmation?

>From: Bruce Maccabee <brumac.nul>
>To: ufoupdates.nul
>Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2007 22:43:13 -0400
>Subject: The 1952 Tremonton Utah'Seagulls' Confirmation?

>>From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2007 18:45:37 +0100
>>Subject: Re: The 1952 Tremonton Utah 'Seagulls' Confirmation?

>>>From: Bruce Maccabee <brumac.nul>
>>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>>Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2007 16:16:20 -0400
>>>Subject: Re: The 1952 Tremonton Utah 'Seagulls' Confirmation?


>>Another interesting nugget is that the AF Photo Reconnaissance
>>Lab replied to ATIC on Oct 10 1952 that they had "examined in
>>detail" the original and would make a copy as requested "as soon
>>as the immediate need for inspection has passed" (possibly
>>implying that copying was thought to involve risk to the
>>original and that measurements needed to be completed first?).
>>But, says the Lab Chief, "it is doubtful that the duplicate will
>>be of much value for detailed inspection, as explained by the
>>small spot size and the general graininess of the film".

>>In other words the photo lab that made the first generation
>>copy, which then became the master for all other copies on which
>>all the years of subsequent argument have been based, opined
>>right at the start that it was not going to be good enough for
>>others to do the same "detailed examination" that they were then
>>doing on the original. And the original was destroyed.



>Makes me think of the 'missing' (destroyed) White Sands
>cinetheodolite films of objects flying over the test area in

>See White Sands Proof at my web site.

It certainly looks suspicious on the face of it. Reading the
documents again I can't find anyone who actually says that the
film was destroyed, or by whom, but it is sort of implied. In
fact I'm not certain now who made the copy and who might have
had responsibility for the original.

The letter from AF Directorate of Intelligence in reply to
Newhouse's request for the original back, Dec 29 1953


appears to say that when the film was originally forwarded to
ATIC in 1952 it had been "damaged somewhat by numerous
showings". Showings by whom? Not Newhouse surely, so the AF was
presumably responsible. If not ATIC, then people at Hill AFB who
first received it from Newhouse and would have been required to
send all evidence directly and promptly to ATIC under the
standing Air Force regulation. How could this have been allowed
to happen in any responsible chain of evidence?

The AF Photo Reconnaissance Lab were the first to study the film
on behalf of ATIC. They were asked by ATIC to copy the UFO
section and return the severed balance (which PRL's reply states
they have done under separate cover to Ruppelt's office). But
did they actually copy it? PRL Col Chief Delwin Avery actually
says on Oct 11 1952 that the UFO section "will be submitted for
copying". This could be interpreted to mean that the copying was
to be done by a different office, conceivably even a different

The next analysis was done by the Naval PIC laboratory. Their
report is dated May 4 1953, nearly 7 months later, and under
Section 2, Tests and Proceedures, we read:

"The film exposed in Utah is in very poor condition; dry,
brittle and with a tendency to break. After initial viewing,
duplication of the film was performed in order to preserve the
film. In the duplication process some color correction was made
to permit better viewing of the objects."

This _seems_ to say that the Naval PIC made the copy. So ATIC
wrote to the PIC quoting this passage back to them and asking
about the status of the original. In March 1954 the Acting Chief
of PIC wrote back to ATIC saying "this Center has never had
possession of the original film and does not have information
concerning its whereabouts."


But in the meantime ATIC had already suggested to Newhouse on
Jan 27 1953 that he might be satisfied with a new copy (not this
time a 1st generation copy of the original of course but a copy
of a copy of a... ) and made good their undertaking on Feb 23.
So that was that, and no further inquiry as to the fate of the
original appears in the file.

So it really isn't clear how much if any of the work done on
this film has been done on the original, who made the 1st gen
copy, or how degraded any of the nth-generation copies in
existence might be. According to AF PRL the very first copy they
were asked to make, or to organise, would probably not be useful
for detailed analysis. According to Naval PIC the original
colour balance was even altered. And the section of film shot to
finish the roll, which could have been useful to callibrate
features of the UFO section, was cut off and sent to Ruppelt. I
wonder where that ended up?

Another interesting fact is that according to two ATIC photo
specialists in 1956, critiquing the Greene Rouse production, the
visible detail of "gulls" would be lost not by overexposure but
by _under_exposure, which would supposedly allow the bright sky
background to "wash out" wings etc and leave just white spots.


They note with approval that Newhouse "admitted underexposing
the film". This seems counter to the alternative suggestion of
"flaring" halation due to their brightness. It also seems
counter to their own claim that seagulls were actually visible
on some of the frames that the Green Rouse documentary didn't
show. This claim contradicts all previous analysis to date and
is clearly either just made up or slanted by ATIC for PR

Re bird speeds, the Hill AFB, Ogden, Utah winds aloft profile is


It shows that surface winds were 360 degs and 350 degs in the
first 3000 ft AGL, 5-6 knots, falling still up to 10,000 ft AGL
and there swinging to westerly, 22 kts.

The US Weather Service Salt Lake City profile is also in the
file at:


Here the winds were slightly lighter but more westerly, rotating
from 330 degs to 270 through surface-10,000AGL with speeds
ranging between 3 and 18 kts.

The objects were reportedly heading W, with the one object that
separated heading back E. Ogden is about 20 miles S of the
sighting location. If the Ogden winds are taken as
representative then they would have made a negligible
contribution to the airspeed of an E-heading gull and so don't
help explain the measured angular rate. The Salt Lake City
profile would be more helpful and could maybe add a few knots,
but Salt Lake City is
about another 20 miles further south.

Martin Shough

Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



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