Friday, 31 December 2010

Rendlesham Revealed, Really?! (30th Anniversary Binary Claim)

Ancient Aliens - Season 2, Episode 10: Rendlesham Excerpt (3oth Dec 2010)

The relevant section from Season 2 of the
History Channel's "Ancient Aliens" (Episode 10):

Before I post anything regarding the recent binary-based announcements(!) I first wanted to say that somewhat predictably the BBC Suffolk's earlier Rendlesham revelation was proved to be something of a non-event, which isn't surprising when you consider that it was the same people who introduced and perpetuated the Conde practical joke theory back in 2003.

It all started back on the 30th October (2010) the BBC Suffolk Breakfast Show presenter ‘Mark Murphy' posted an article on the official BBC Suffolk website titled, “Rendlesham UFO mystery solved?” before then proceeding to make reference to some remarkable *new* evidence:

“Now after 30 years, I'm hoping to reveal what happened in Rendlesham Forest and have joined up with the East Anglian Daily Times to finally uncover the events of December 1980. On the evening of Friday, 17 December at 7-9pm, I'll be presenting a special programme on BBC Radio Suffolk from the Bentwaters Cold War Museum. I'll be revealing new evidence that I believe will finally reveal the truth and put the conspiracy theories to bed for good.”

  • Close by is a lighthouse which strobes brightly into the forest at low level;
  • There was a brilliant meteor over southern England at the exact same time;
  • The upper stage rocket of a Soviet satellite, Cosmos 749, had broken up on re-entry;
  • One star was reported as being exceptionally bright between Christmas and New Year;
  • Could the mysterious object have been one of the earliest trials of the Stealth bomber?
  • Could it have been a US spy satellite dropped on Suffolk by mistake?
  • On the ground, the "triangular" marks left at the landing site could simply be rabbit diggings and as for the radiation spikes, the readings taken were so low, they are insignificant.
  • Get in contact and on Friday, 17 December, between 7-9pm, for the new evidence which I'm confident will change people's opinions of what happened.

(Full Article here).

Then a couple of weeks ago on the 15th Dec (2010) BBC Suffolk posted the following:

“BBC Suffolk is marking the 30th anniversary of the sightings, culminating in a live from Bentwaters Cold War Museum on Friday, 17 December, 7-9pm. Mark Murphy is presenting the show. We've seen different beings in the forest. Ms Butler, from Leiston, has been at the forefront of discussions about what happened in Rendlesham and spoke to Mark at an anniversary event in November 2010. Key to the discussions are recordings made by US Colonel Halt, the deputy commanding officer of RAF Woodbridge at the time.”

(Full Article here).

Roll on the 18th December and the much hyped revelation was as follows:

Chopper theory

Mark Murphy's favourite theory is that a dummy Apollo capsule was being carried through the forest by a helicopter. Some claim that the 67th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron based at RAF Woodbridge had a specific job of picking up spy satellites.

Graham Haynes, manager of the Bentwaters Cold War Museum (BCWM), said: "Apollo is the most plausible explanation. It's about the same size as a lot of descriptions of the UFO.....They'd usually go out into the Deben or just off the coast at Bawdsey, drop the module into the sea and practise recovering astronauts from the module."

However, there remains the grey area of whether, and why, a helicopter might be carrying the module around on Christmas day, but to some it is the most plausible theory. The US government has not commented on whether a helicopter flight took place. Some think airmen sent it up as a joke to add some 'evidence' of a craft to the sightings of strange lights.

Errol Frost, from BCWM, said: "The 67th, being hoaxers and technical jokers, thought they could make a UFO case.....Being Christmas, everyone's merry, and that's where it started."

Mr Haynes said: "The first row of landing lights at Woodbridge were damaged that day.....It's possible the capsule hit those lights, it started to sway under the helicopter and the pilot, thinking he was in trouble, decided to jettison the capsule."

The capsule would then have been recovered from the forest a day later. This theory is used to support the discovery of three marks on the ground in the forest which some claim tally with the tripod feet on the capsule. Others claim the marks on the ground were consistent with the sort of marks made by rabbits. Yet another theory was broadcast by BBC Inside Out. In their report USAF security policeman claimed he had been driving around in a police car with his lights flashing.

Pope said: "There is a culture of practical jokes in the military, but I think we'll still be debating this 40 years on."

(Full Article here).

M'kay, the first thing that I personally thought was that this is really old news that was first posted on the Rendlesham Incident website back in July of 2007, here is a small excerpt from the article which was titled, "The Crucial Reason":

What I will say is that 2 of my sources who are friends were in the 67th ARRS at RAF Woodbridge. RAF Woodbridge was home to the 67th ARRS (Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron). Their primary role was picking up pilots/crew who had either crashed landed or ejected (this included the F-111 escape capsule) both on friendly territory/sea and behind enemy lines. Their two main aircraft for this role was the HH53 ‘Jolly Green Giant’ helicopters and C130 Hercules fitted with ‘Skyhook’.

Their secondary role was the locating and recovery of Apollo command modules and other US space hardware that NASA and other departments in the USA wanted recovered after re entry. There was an Apollo command module at RAF Woodbridge for training purposes. It had lights that aided location & recovery. These would be either programmed or remotely switched on depending on the nature of recovery training. I’m also led to believe that it had a distress flare system that aided recovery at sea. It was also fitted with a homing radio beacon system. Some training consisted of dumping the module out at sea by helicopter day and night and another HH53 with trainees on board would go out to locate and recover it. There were other training exercises that remain classified.

Sea recovery entailed at least 2 divers in their diving suits as part of the recovery crew.
My source told me that 99% of airmen/officers at both bases would be unaware of its presence at Woodbridge, only the ARRS and a few other need to know people would be aware of its existence. It was stored under wraps in a secure building and was sat on a trolley so it could be wheeled out when needed for training. I was told it weighed about the same as a small family car. It was approximately the same size and pyramid shape that Jim Penniston and others described. It was also smooth to the touch as it had a ceramic type surface that was designed to withstand re entry heating. The nav lights were under the surface skin of the module and shone through Pyrex type glass panels. The module stood on 3 short legs with concave disc shaped feet.

(Source & Full Article).

And here's the follow-up BBC Suffolk broadcast:

Anyhoo, on to the recent claims as to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the Rendlesham incident a conference was held on the 28th December 2010 which was billed as follows:

The Rendlesham Forest Incident

December 1980 - 30th Anniversary Conference

John Burroughs & Jim Penniston talk for the first time in Suffolk at the Woodbridge Community Hall Tuesday December 28 at 6pm.

Also attending is:

  • Linda Moulton Howe
  • Nick Pope (MoD ret)
  • Peter Robbins US based Investigative Writer

In December 1980 strange lights were seen by US Air Force personnel posted to the twin bases of RAF Bentwaters & Woodbridge. To this day they have never been explained. On the 30th anniversary, December 28 2010 two key eye-witnesses are back in Suffolk to re-count their stories. Airman 1st Class John Burroughs and SSgt Jim Penniston were 81st Security Police Officers patrolling the East Gate at RAF Woodbridge when they observed what they initially thought was an aircraft coming down in the forest. The rest is history.

All five are in Suffolk on Tuesday December 28 2010.

Here's a video from the night which was titled, "Nick Pope Apologizes to the Airmen involved in the Rendlesham Forest incident" :

Dave Hodrien from BUFOG attended the conference and posted a brief summary of the event which was as follows:

Peter Robbins began with a short introductory talk about the case in general and why it could not have been the result of certain things (the usual arguments against it - lighthouse, meteorite, and some of the more recent claims such as a burning fertilizer truck).

At the end of his talk he got Larry Warren up on stage as well to thank him for what he had done for the case.

Next up was Linda Moulton Howe, who spoke mostly of the recent regressions of both John and Jim and the possibility that more happened to them on the 1st night than just a close encounter. Obviously this depends on how you feel about regression in the first place, but there were numerous signs that John, possibly both of them had been abducted.

After a short break it was then time to welcome both John and Jim to the stage. I found them both to be very believable in their account of what took place, they seemed to certainly be talking from the heart and I would certainly dispute the idea that they are making up their encounters with the strange glowing lights/craft in the forest. They also spoke of something new which is about to break with the case, 8 pages of binary numbers that were apparently "downloaded" into Jim's head.
Probably many of you will have already heard of this, and I apologise if someone's already mentioned it elsewhere on here, but it's the first I'd heard about it.

If you haven't heard of this already, apparently the binary numbers translate to some kind of message which is going to be revealed in a History channel documentary airing tomorrow. This caused some backlash from the crowd who questioned why it was only coming out now so long after the incident, a valid point to make of course, but Jim's answers to this seemed reasonable enough. Plus someone has tested the note paper and ink to prove he wrote it back in 1980. They wouldn't reveal what the message was at all (due to wanting all the evidence to be shown at once, and also probably due to contractual obligations with the TV company), however we've only got to wait till tomorrow to find out.

Nick Pope gave a brief chat about the involvement of the MOD with the case, then there was a pretty extensive Q&A session. After that was over about 11.30pm many people then headed out to the forest.

It was very dark, cold and foggy which added to the atmosphere I thought. The camera crew who had been filming the conference continued filming, and I'd say there were about 100 people present.

We first headed for the East Gate, where Jim and John shared with everyone how they had first caught sight of the lights in the forest. We then backtracked to the edge of the trees by the visitors car park, where they continued to talk about their approach to the object and what they remembered taking place.

And of course the relevant section from Season 2 of the History Channel's "Ancient Aliens" (Episode 10) as seen at the top of this post:

The analysis of Jim Pennistons Binary Numbers revealed that the sequence contained the following message:


52° 09' 42.532"N
13° 13' 12.69"W



The coordinates point to a location off the coast of Ireland called HY BRASIL
Brazil (mythical island)

Brasil showing up on the map of Ireland by Abraham Ortelius in 1572 Brazil, also known as Hy-Brazil or several other variants, is a phantom island which features in many Irish myths. It was said to be cloaked in mist, except for one day each seven years, when it became visible but could still not be reached. It probably has similar roots to St. Brendan's Island. The names Brazil and Hy-Brazil are thought to come from the Irish Uí Breasail (meaning "descendants (i.e., clan) of Breasal"), one of the ancient clans of Northeastern Ireland. cf. Old Irish: Í: island; bres: beauty, worth; great, mighty.

Source: Wikipedia

So of course the obvious question is, "What!! You've waited 29 years to release this material!?!" And actually here's Penniston addressing that exact question (sort of.....)

And finally the talking-head (Nick Ciske) on the History Channel's “Ancient Aliens” show has already provided enough information to prove that once again what the expert stated has been wildly misrepresented and took completely out of context so as to seemingly validate the new claims made by Penniston. UK UFO researcher Isaac Koi (pseudonym) was quick off the mark and contacted Mr Ciske with hours of the programme being aired and this is what Isaac wrote a little earlier today (31st December 2010) on the mailing list:

After watching the episode, I looked online for information about the chap (Nick Ciske) that used a computer to generate the "possible message" from the binary code. The first search result offered by Google (at the link below) is a tool for encoding and decoding binary code:

This is relevant to one of the questions below (Question 4). You may be particularly interested in the answer to that question. I contacted Nick Ciske about his work on the "possible message" and asked him a few questions. He was kind enough to answers them all. The questions I put (and Nick's answers) are below.

Isaac : (1) Could you possibly outline how the "possible message" that appeared on your computer screen was generated?

Nick Ciske: 1. I used the same convertor I have on my site. [Isaac - see link above]

Isaac:2) The "possible message" you generated appears to be in English and I wonder if the receiver (and sender) would also have to be aware of any local/human conventions as to the translation of binary code into alpha-numerics (along the lines of the ascii convention)? If so, that would be relevant to the apparent suggestion by one of the other individuals interviewed for the documentary that binary code could be used as some sort of universal language.

Nick Ciske: 2. Yes, you'd have to start with an English message. Binary is far from a universal language. I know I talked about that, but it may not have made the episode (I haven't seen it yet). [Isaac - that bit did not make it into the episode and the documentary gave the opposite impression by only showing the bit from the other researcher I mentioned in my question]

Isaac : (3) In the documentary, in the frames before the display of the "possible message", your computer screen appears to show "decodes to" followed by several lines of characters. What are those lines?

Nick Ciske: 3. That's the raw decode of the binary.

Isaac : (4) Could one of the online tools relating to binary code (including one that you appear to have developed) have been used in reverse to translate the relevant "possible message" into the binary code?

Nick Ciske: 4. Yes, that's exactly what my tool does, and the most plausible explanation for how the message was generated. [Isaac – This view was not shown in the documentary. Indeed, Nick's comments as shown in the documentary implied that it would be difficult for someone to generate the relevant text. Nick is shown as saying "Could someone write out 6 pages of binary? Well, probably not. They would need some help or they would have to be some sort of savant or super calculator."]

Isaac : (5) Finally, you apparently typed up the relevant pages of binary codes. Is that typed up list of numbers available to others?

Nick Ciske: 5. Sorry, the producers have asked me not to share it.

Alas, it seems that the only singular certain conclusion that can be drawn from all of these recent claims is that over the years the event now described by the witnesses is evidently a completely different one to which they described in their witness statements days after it originally occurred. As to the reasons for this? Well, I leave that up to the reader to draw their own conclusions.....

In fact, the original accounts have changed to such an extent that even the sketches have evolved as you can see above, with the one from Penniston's original (& undated) witness statement being inset (red highlight) on one of his later ones.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

New Zealand Releases UFO Files - Kaikoura Lights Included

Well, New Zealand are following the lead of other countries and the Defence Force have finally waded through the necessary paperwork and so are finally set to release their ‘UFO files'. The release was originally scheduled for February (2010) but the Defence Force prevented this so that any personal data could be redacted to comply with privacy laws announcing that the release was rescheduled for before the end of this year.

And the release is now imminent it appears as if the press-embargo has been lifted as several local and national news agencies are running the story today (22nd December 2010) announcing that details of the famous 1978 incident which came to be known as the, “Kaikoura Lights' is amongst the thousands of secret files on New Zealand's UFO reports that are due to be made public this week. It's stated that the files which total more than 2000 pages will be issued in 12 volumes which date back to the early 1950s and include every witness account of unidentified flying objects reported to the authorities. So as every media-report I've seen so far includes a mention of the Kaikoura lights I'd thought I'd share a video I uploaded a couple of years ago just before the 30th anniversary of the event in 2008, but firstly here's what Wikipedia has to say about it:

The Kaikoura Lights is a name given by the New Zealand media to a series of sightings that occurred in December 1978, over the skies above the Kaikoura mountain ranges of the northeastern South Island of New Zealand. The first sightings were made on December 21 when the crew of a Safe Air Ltd cargo aircraft began observing a series of strange lights around their Armstrong Whitworth AW.660 Argosy aircraft, which tracked along with their aircraft for several minutes before disappearing and then reappearing elsewhere. The pilots described some of the lights to be the size of a house and others small but flashing brilliantly. These objects appeared on the air traffic controller radar in Wellington and also on the aircraft\'s on-board radar. The objects were also seen by hundreds of people on the ground.

On December 30, 1978, a television crew from Australia recorded background film for a network show on interviews about the sightings. For many minutes at a time on the flight to Christchurch, unidentified lights were observed by five people on the flight deck, were tracked by Wellington Air Traffic Controllers, and filmed in color by the television crew. One object reportedly followed the aircraft almost until landing. The cargo plane then took off again with the television crew still on board, heading for Blenheim. When the aircraft reached about 2000 feet, it encountered a gigantic lighted orb, which fell into station off the wing tip and tracked along with the cargo aircraft for almost quarter of an hour, while being filmed, watched, tracked on the aircraft radar and described on a tape recording made by the TV film crew.


And here's the video:

Defence lifts lid on Kiwi X-files

Thousands of secret files on New Zealand's UFO reports are set to be made public, nearly 32 years to the day after our most famous sighting. The files include every witness account of unidentified flying objects reported to authorities since the early 1950s, including the 1978 Kaikoura mystery. They had been held by Archives New Zealand, which was to make them available in February after requests from the public, but the Defence Force stepped in, saying it needed to remove personal identification to comply with the Privacy Act. The Defence Force promised to release the files by the end of this year and is due to make them public this week. More than 2000 pages of files will be issued in 12 volumes. Squadron Leader Kavae Tamariki said the Defence Force would not comment on the files' content.

"We've just been a collection point for the information. We don't investigate or make reports, we haven't substantiated anything in them.....The Defence Force did not have the resources to investigate UFO sightings."

The director of research group UFOCUS NZ, Suzanne Hansen, said she had been trying to get hold of the Defence Force files for nearly two years:

"I started lobbying, and at first they said there was no way in the foreseeable future they'd be released. It's been a long time coming."

In August last year The Press sought access to the files under the Official Information Act, and was told by the Defence Force the request "would require a substantial amount of collation, research and consultation to identify whether any of that information could be released", and it was "not in a position to deploy staff to undertake that task". It said public files on UFO sightings were available from Archives NZ. But when access to those files was requested from Archives NZ, it emerged they had been borrowed by the Defence Force. Ms Hansen said she hoped the files would reveal more detail about some of New Zealand's most famous cases, including the Kaikoura sighting on December 21, 1978. Wellington man John Cordy, 77, was in the air traffic control tower on that night and still maintains there was no logical explanation for what happened.

He and his colleague witnessed inexplicable radar readings at a time when no aircraft were cleared to be in the area. At the same time, crew on an Argosy cargo plane reported strange lights around their aircraft, which tracked them for more than 60 kilometres. Numerous theories were put forward, but Mr Cordy said none fitted the bill:

"It wasn't a squid boat, it wasn't Jupiter, it wasn't Venus, and it wasn't harbour lights. What it was I do not know...."

Ms Hansen, who has investigated UFOs for more than 35 years, said she had witnessed numerous "sightings" in her life, the first when she was eight.

"I was living down in Gisborne in the late 70s, early 80s, around the time of the UFO flap – when there's quite intense activity, a lot of sightings.....It's reasonably easy to tell whether something is an aircraft because in New Zealand, and worldwide, there are certain legal configurations of lights, so if they don't have those characteristics, it's not identifiable.....Then you're mainly looking at movement, whether it's able to hover, whether it's moving erratically."


(300th Blog Post!!)

Sunday, 5 December 2010

WikiLeaks – Open Minds & Closed Eyes

“The open mind never acts: when we have done our utmost to arrive at a reasonable conclusion, we still - must close our minds for the moment with a snap, and act dogmatically on our conclusions”

George Bernard Shaw

Former Mufon Int. Dir. “James Carrion” has recently made an interesting Blog post doubting the veracity of the wikileaks documents and compares it to the secrecy and manipulation of information that he believes is prevalent at the UFO forum, “Open Minds”.

Carrion writes:

“I have pointed out how information message boards like The Open Minds Forum, run by a shadowy group of figures is pushing the latest UFO myth, using disinformation techniques to quash dissent while experimenting with opinion manipulation in the microcosm of Ufology.”

Open Minds forum were instrumental in perpetuating the SERPO hoax and actually formed as a splinter group to continue to discuss it once it was denounced as a hoax -and labelled as such- everywhere else, OMF are also responsible for (almost exclusively) perpetuating the Drone hoax (which Carrion originally joined to comment on), the UN/UFO meetings hoax and more recently the Richard Theilmann/Source-A exopolitical-related hoax.

The reticence on display of a hardcore section of administrators & members to acknowledge any of these events as a hoax is what I believe Carrion is referencing when he describes the Open Minds Forum as being, “run by a shadowy group of figures is pushing the latest UFO myth”.

And to be fair it certainly seems that way.....

Perhaps a point of note here is that one of the few staff members at Open Minds forum is a, self-proclaimed SERPO expert who still attends UFO conferences to speak of it and another staff member owns and runs a ‘Pro-Drone' website who personally funded two private investigators to locate the original Drone witnesses (and failed) and who pre-emptively banned IP addresses of members from the Open Minds forum who didn't 'believe' (myself included – over 2 years and still counting) from his Drone-believers website.

Furthermore, these discretions that Carrion speaks of are nothing new as I was actually banned back in 2008 along with a former forum administrator and another member for daring to ask (on a thread specifically set up to field questions to this exact website) how these IP addresses were obtained :

(Click here or image to enlarge).

And naturally when I pointed out in a private communication that I hadn't been, “Asked, cajoled, pleaded with and warned wrt your 'insinuations', sh1t stirring and disrespectful attitudes etc,at all (let alone repeatedly) and asked for examples of the instances referred to in a polite manner I was denied and told not to bother asking again as basically it was because the Admin said it was so. Also, have a look at the status of the members who wrote two comments following this decision and you will see, “Membership revoked ” which is a status exclusive to 3 or 4 members ALL of whom offered criticism of one or more of the hoaxes being perpetuated at Open Minds:

In fact “Mur” a.k.a. “Murnut” is none other than Andrew Murray who along with “Jeddyhi” a.k.a. John Hicks later went on to expose Source-A (Richard Thielmann) as a liar and the entire UN/Source-A debacle as the hoax that it was (as well of course as Jeddyhi being the former admin who was banned along with myself in the first -Drone- instance).

Open minds indeed…..

“The trouble with having an open mind, of course,
is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it”

Terry Pratchett

Anyway, here's the relevant extract from Carrion's new Blog post:

WikiLeaks - Tis the Season to be Suspicious

I read with much interest the headlines from around the world this week on the release of secret US Diplomatic documents through the WikiLeaks website. I noticed parallels between WikiLeaks tactics and the information warfare practiced on the gullible UFO community by shadowy groups of the US Intelligence community.

Conspiracy Theory

Before I explain my reasoning for why WikiLeaks should be suspect, let me first discuss something that has been simmering in the back of my mind for awhile and that I feel a need to address.

It seems that talking about the intelligence community's unacknowledged involvement in the UFO community, their creation of the UFO myth and their continued promotion of UFO stories is immediately labeled by believers and debunkers alike as conspiracy theory. The believers see any thoughts along these lines as just another layer added to the onion of some concerted government cover up, in other words, it is a conspiracy but one that hides a greater conspiracy of alien visitation. The debunking community on the other hand without giving any rational and sober thought at all to the possibilities; labels the notion of intelligence agency manipulation of the UFO community as just pure fantasy and chuck it into their grey basket which is really “I can't get off my ass and be bothered” basket.

Now let me propose a radical idea. Conspiracy theory used as an end in and of itself for the express purpose of providing plausible deniability. In other words the more conspiracies that promulgate and circulate the zeitgeist, the less likely that sober critical minds will be willing to examine what sounds like another. This provides the perfect cover for any intelligence agency operation.

So for example, if you want to draw attention from what is really happening at places like Groom Lake, Nevada, wrap it in a conspiracy - one with a big alien green bow, and place it under the Christmas tree of gullible UFO believers. They will wake up early Christmas morning and eagerly tear off the wrapping to find a box that looks alien, but if they bothered to open their glazed eyes and look further, they would find another box inside that is entirely too human. Better yet, send the same present to the Grinch debunking community and they will throw the whole package into the trash, wrapping and all, not bothering to consider what treasure lies truly inside.

On the spectrum of UFO belief, believers find themselves on one extreme and debunkers on the other. The sobering middle however is made up of the skeptical few whose arguments are normally drowned out by the masses on either end or by those like the media who either ignore the subject all together or it serves as their entertainment muse. It is a win-win for Black Project private industry and their intelligence agency compatriots as they achieve their objective of keeping the nosey citizenry and the media from examining their activities a little too closely.

I have been discussing on this blog over the last year my belief that the intelligence community is practicing information warfare on the proving grounds of Ufology before they wield these weapons in the real world. I have pointed out how information message boards like The Open Minds Forum, run by a shadowy group of figures is pushing the latest UFO myth, using disinformation techniques to quash dissent while experimenting with opinion manipulation in the microcosm of Ufology.

Now to the parallels with WikiLeaks.

1. WikiLeaks has a known front man but the rest of the governing team is as shadowy as the intelligence agencies they claim to oppose. See what happened when I questioned the backgrounds of the Open Minds Forum leaders in my blog article: Wolves in Sheep's Clothing . Interesting that those who promote transparency the most are the ones least likely to serve it up themselves while they hide behind a cloak of anonymity and claimed persecution.

2. WikiLeaks relies on whistelblowers with alleged altruistic reasoning for their whistleblowing. Sure you can put up a straw man suspect like PFC Bradley Manning to blame the leak on but he doesn't account for all of the leaked documents.

Source & rest of Blog post here.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Green Fireballs & UFOs

This is a scrupulously acurate eyewitness painting of a mysterious
green fireball rushing through the night sky over New Mexico.
LaPaz - Green Fireball
It was done by Mrs. Lincoln LaPaz, wife of an authority on meteors.
Both she and her husband have observed the fireballs at first hand.

A recently published research paper by Australian astrophysicist Dr Stephen Hughes proposes that green fireballs may be linked to ball lightning due to their presence triggering an electrical connection between the upper atmosphere and the ground, a connection which resulted in providing energy for what is thought to be the notoriously rare phenomenon of ball lightning.

This research paper first came to my attention by way of an article posted to the BBC by their science correspondent which ran the headline:

Ball lightning 'may explain UFOs'” which I initially thought was more than likely going to draw parallels between ball lightning and existing UFO reports, yet the first line of the article states:

Some UFO sightings could be explained by ball lightning and other atmospheric phenomena,” which leaves no doubt that we're talking about a very, very, very small percentage of UFO reports that could qualify under the parameters of ball lightning, but admittedly when also including atmospheric phenomena within the scope then it is widened considerably. However, it would be naïve and just plain wrong to suggest that this isn't already accepted as an immutable fact by all but the most uninformed UFO researcher so why would a rather intriguing "ionosphere-to-ground conductive path hypothesis” be so readily associated with UFO reports? After reading the research paper it seems that this is due to the VERY last sentence of the “Conclusion” paragraph which states:

If confirmed, this hypothesis may be able to explain previously unexplainable UFO sightings and the so-called foo fighters and other aerial phenomenon."

Which I guess is a fair observation regardless of the validity of the hypothesis and I found the research paper itself interesting, here's the abstract:

Green Fireball
Photograph taken by a member of the public from the CBD of Brisbane.


This paper presents evidence of an apparent connection between ball lightning and a green fireball. On the evening of the 16th May 2006 at least three fireballs were seen by many people in the skies of Queensland, Australia. One of the fireballs was seen passing over the Great Divide about 120 km west of Brisbane, and soon after, a luminous green ball about 30 cm in diameter was seen rolling down the slope of the Great Divide. A detailed description given by a witness indicates that the phenomenon was probably a highly luminous form of ball lightning. An hypothesis presented in this paper is that the passage of the Queensland fireball meteor created an electrically conductive path between the ionosphere and ground, providing energy for the ball lightning phenomenon. A strong similarity is noted between the Queensland fireball and the Pasamonte fireball seen in New Mexico in 1933. Both meteors exhibit a twist in the tail that could be explained by hydrodynamic forces. The possibility that multiple sightings of fireballs across South East Queensland were produced owing to fragments from comet 73P Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 is discussed.

Green fireballs and ball lightning” research paper [Hughes, Stephen W. (2010)

A summary (with images) is available here and the full research paper (PDF) is available here.

And here's a news report on the 2006 fireball incident discussed which the author also posted with the research paper:

However, ball lightning aside, green fireballs have been a staple of UFO lore almost since the inception of flying saucers in the late forties. Respected and long time UFO researcher Bruce Maccabee posted the following on his website which is from his, “UFO FBI Connection” book (pp 149-161) and talks about the, “Project Twinkle report” which was established to investigate fireballs in 1950:

"The efforts of Dr. Kaplan and Major Oder to start a fireball research project came to fruition in the spring of 1950. A $20,000 half-year contract was signed with the Land-Air Corporation which operated the phototheodolites at White Sands. Land-Air was to set up a 24 hour watch at a location in New Mexico to be specified by the Air Force and the phototheodolite operators at White Sands were to film any unusual objects which happened to fly past.

Dr. Anthony Mirarchi was not the average scientist. He was skeptical, all right, but he was skeptical of the glib explanations. In 1950 he was the Chief of the Air Composition Branch at GRD/AFCRL. Project Twinkle began as Dr. Mirachis project. However, he retired from AFCRL in October, 1950, so he was not involved with Twinkle when Dr. Elterman wrote the final report a year later. In fact, Dr. Mirarchi may never have seen that report. Dr. Mirarchi visited Holloman Air Force Base in late May, 1950, and requested a brief report on the April 27 and May 24 sightings which Elterman mentioned (see above). Fortunately for the truth, the brief report to Mirarchi survived in the National Archives microfilm record where it was found in the late 1970s long after the Twinkle report had had its...intended?...debunking effect on the green fireball sightings!

As you will see, this document refutes Elterman."

Per request of Dr. A. O. Mirarchi, during a recent visit to this base, the following information is submitted.
  1. Sightings were made on 27 April and 24 May 1950 of aerial phenomena during morning daylight hours at this station. The sightings were made by Land-Air, Inc., personnel while engaged in tracking regular projects with Askania Phototheodolites. It has been reported that objects are sighted in some number; as many as eight have been visible at one time. The individuals making these sightings are professional observers. Therefore I would rate their reliability superior. In both cases photos were taken with Askanias.
  2. The Holloman AF Base Data Reduction Unit analyzed the 27 April pictures and made a report, a copy of which I am enclosing with the film for your information. It was believed that triangulation could be effected from pictures taken on 24 May because pictures were taken from two stations. The films were rapidly processed and examined by Data Reduction. However, it was determined that sightings were made on two different objects and triangulation could not be effected. A report from Data Reduction and the films from the sighting are enclosed.
  3. There is nothing further to report at this time.

The writer of this letter is not known (no signature).

The Data Reduction report attached to the letter reads as follows:

Objects observed following MX776A test of 27 April 1950

2nd Lt. (name censored) EHOSIR 15 May 50

  1. According to conversation between Col. Baynes and Capt. Bryant, the following information is submitted directly to Lt. Albert.
  2. Film from station P10 was read, resulting in azimuth and elevation angles being recorded on four objects. In addition, size of image on film was recorded.
  3. From this information, together with a single azimuth angle from station M7, the following conclusions were drawn:

a). The objects were at an altitude of approximately 150,000 ft.
b). The objects were over the Holloman range between the base and Tularosa Peak.
c). The objects were approximately 30 feet in diameter.
d). The objects were traveling at an undeterminable, yet high speed.


Wilbur L. Mitchell
Data Reduction Unit

Maccabee then concludes:

"So, there you have it, four unidentified objects... UFOs... were flying at 150,000 ft near the White Sands Proving Ground. Each was roughly 30 ft in size. The sighting was similar to that of Charles Moore a year earlier. Could Mr. Mitchell and the Askania operators have made a mistake? Not likely. Their business was tracking fast moving objects (rockets) and calculating the trajectories of the rockets. As the writer of the above letter stated, The individuals making these sightings are professional observers. Therefore I would rate their reliability superior.

Human beings had made no objects that could fly at 150,000 ft in the spring of 1950. So, what were they? Whose were they?"

Source (& full report).

And what Maccabee says about Project Twinkle is further confirmed by several responses to FOIA requests, for example:


TO : D. M. Ladd DATE: August 23, 1950

FROM : A. H. Belmont



To advise that: (1) OSI has expressed concern in connection with the continued appearance of unexplained phenomena described as green fireballs, discs and meteors in the vicinity of sensitive installations in New Mexico. (2) XXXXXXXXX, XXXXXXX XXXXXX of the University of New Mexico, reported that the phenomenon does not appear to be of meteoric origin. (3) OSI has contracted with XXXXXXXXXXXX, Alamogordo, New Mexico, to make scientific study of the unexplained phenomena.


Observations of aerial phenomena occurring within the vicinity of sensitive installations have been recorded by the Air Force since December, 1948. The phenomena have been classified into 3 general types which are identified as follows

  1. Green fireballs, objects moving at high speed in shapes resembling half moons, circles and discs emitting green light.
  2. Discs, round flat shaped objects or phenomena moving at fast velocity and emitting a brilliant white light or reflected light.
  3. Meteors, aerial phenomana resemblng meteoric material moving at high velocity in color.

Full response available here.

Green fireballs were one of the UFOs that LIFE magazine covered in their landmark 1952 article titled, “Have We Visitors From Outer Space”. The article opened with the following:

For four years the U.S. public has wondered, worried or smirked over the strange and insistent tales of eerie objects streaking across American skies. Generally the tales have provoked only chills or titters, only rarely, reflection or analysis. Last week the U.S. Air Force made known to LIFE the following facts:

  • As a result of continuing flying saucer reports the Air Force maintains constant intelligence investigation and study of unidentified aerial objects.
  • A policy of positive action has been adopted to find out, as soon as possible, what is responsible for observations that have been made. As a part of this study, military aircraft are alerted to attempt interception, and radar and photographic equipment will be used in an attempt to obtain factual data. If opportunity offers, attempts will be made to recover such unidentified objects.
  • Already all operational units of the Air Force have been alerted to report in detail any sightings of unidentified aerial objects. Other groups -- scientists, private and commercial pilots, weather observers -- all trained observers whose work in any way concerns the sky, and what happens in it, are urged to make immediate reports to Air Technical Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio of any unidentified aerial objects they sight.
  • Further, for the first time since Project "Saucer" was changed from a special-type project to a standard intelligence function, in December 1949, the Air Force invites all citizens to report their sightings to the nearest Air Force installation. All reports will be given expert consideration and those of special interest will be thoroughly investigated. The identity of those making such reports will be kept in confidence; no one will be ridiculed for making one.
  • There is no reason as yet to believe that any of the aerial phenomena commonly described as flying saucers are caused by a foreign power or constitute a clear and present danger to the U.S. or its citizens.

These disclosures, sharply amending past Air Force policy, climaxed a review by LIFE, with Air Force officials, of all facts known in the case. This review has resulted from more than a year of sifting and weighting all reports of unexplained aerial phenomena -- from the so-called flying saucers to the mysterious green fireballs so often sighted in the Southwest (above -- main picture). This inquiry has included scrutiny of hundreds of reported sightings, interview with eyewitnesses across the country and careful reviews of the facts with some of the world's ablest physicists, astronomers, and experts on guided missiles. for the first time the Air Force (while in no way identifying itself with any particular conclusions) has opened its files for study.

Out of this exhaustive inquiry these propositions seem firmly shaped by the evidence:

  1. Disks, cylinders and similar objects of geometrical form, luminous quality and solid nature for several years have been, and may be now, actually present in the atmosphere of the earth.
  2. Globes of green fire also, of a brightness more intense than the full moon's, have frequently passed through the skies.
  3. These objects cannot be explained by present science as natural phenomena -- but solely as artificial devices, created and operated by a high intelligence.
  4. Finally, no power plant known or projected on earth could account for the performance of these devices.

Full Life magazine article available here.

Powerful stuff especially in 1952, the article caused such a reaction that it even warranted a mention from Ruppelt (former head of Blue Book) in his 1956 book, “The Report On Unidentified Flying Objects” (pp. 177-178.) an extract follows:

The LIFE article undoubtedly threw a harder punch at the American public than any other UFO article ever written. The title alone, "Have We Visitors From Outer Space?" was enough. Other very reputable magazines, such as TRUE, had said it before, but coming from LIFE, it was different. LIFE didn't say that the UFO's were from outer space; it just said maybe. But to back up this "maybe," it had quotes from some famous people. Dr. Walther Riedel, who played an important part in the development of the German V-2 missile and is presently the director of rocket engine research for North American Aviation Corporation, said he believed that the UFO's were from outer space. Dr. Maurice Biot, one of the world's leading aerodynamicists, backed him up.

Full text available here.

To view any of the information above in its entirety and also for further details (including replies to related FOIA requests) concerning green fireballs from the same time-period then please visit here.