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UFO Skeptic Pilot Witnesses UFO Near Aircraft.

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karl 12
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UFO Skeptic Pilot Witnesses UFO Near Aircraft.

Post by karl 12 on Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:28 pm

Listed here in the chronology section of NICAP's 'UFO Evidence' report there's a pretty fascinating UFO encounter from over Jackson, Alabama on November 14th, 1956 where a pilot and co-pilot both witnessed a 'brilliant bluish-white light' perform highly unusual flight characteristics near their aircraft.

The UFO's maneuvers were said to last for 30 seconds and described as 'rising and falling, darting back and forth, instant 90° turns, then hovering motionless again' - when the control tower radioed the aircraft the object began another series of 'crazy gyrations, lazy 8's, square chandelles with undulating motion' and then shot out over the Gulf of Mexico in a steep climb at 'fantastic speed'.

What makes this case all the more interesting (or 'splendidly ironic' as it mentions in this book) is the fact that the main witness pilot Captain W. J. Hull was a published anti-UFO skeptic who had already written a 'debunking' article in an Airline Pilot magazine three years before.


10:10-10:12 p.m. Capital Airlines Flight 77 pilot Capt. W. J. Hull with 3 million miles and 17 years' flight experience and author of anti-UFO skeptical article "The Obituary of the Flying Saucer" in The Airline Pilot magazine (Sept. 1953), with copilot FO Peter MacIntosh were flying from New York to Mobile, Ala., in a Viscount airliner at 300 mph descending at 10,000 ft, when they saw a brilliant bluish-white light (mag. -7) descend in a steep downward angle diagonally (about 45°?) from left to right from WSW at azimuth 315° to dead ahead SSW at 205° azimuth 30°-40° elevation where it stopped at the same or slightly higher altitude. Hull radioed Bates tower near Mobile to look for object, then at that moment the object began a series of maneuvers for 30 secs, rising and falling, darting back and forth, instant 90° turns, then hovered motionless again at same/slightly higher level. When Bates field radioed again the object began another series of "crazy gyrations, lazy 8's, square chandelles" with undulating motion, then shot out to the S over the Gulf of Mexico in a steep climb at "fantastic speed" until it disappeared.

(Condon Committee Unexplained case, CR pp. 127-9; Hynek-CUFOS­ Willy Smith files; NARCAP; UFOE,

Capital Airlines Pilots Sees Acrobatic UFO


Below is the full report of the encounter sent in a letter by Captain Hull to his friend, the president of the CSI-NY Civilian UFO Investigation group where he describes being 'flabbergasted' and 'confounded' by the object's aerial maneuverability -the pilot also reminds him that he was 'objectively skeptical and cynically critical of most of the purported saucer sightings' yet asks the question 'was this was a machine based on earth?' which I suppose is a pretty fair one, especially considering this incident occurred way back in 1956.  


The sighting which follows is of particular interest because it was made by an expert observer - a veteran airline pilot - who was formerly extremely skeptical on the subject of flying saucers. In fact, in 1953 Captain Hull wrote an article for Airline Pilot magazine titled "The Obituary of the Flying Saucers. We reprint, with his permission, a slightly condensed excerpt from the letter to CSI President John Du Barry in which he described his experience.


On the night of November 14, 1956 I was flying a Viscount at high altitude from New York to Mobile, Alabama. We were above a layer of clouds which were occasionally broken, giving us a glimpse of the ground now and then. At 10:10 p.m. E.S.T., when only about 60 miles from Mobile, my co-pilot Peter Macintosh and I saw what we thought was a brilliant meteor. We were flying south-southwest and it fell across our path from left to right, first becoming visible at the top of the windshield. (The Viscount has wonderful visibility upward.) It decelerated rapidly, just as any meteor does when entering the denser layers of ths earth''s lower atmosphere, and we expected to see it burn out with the customary flash, which pilots often see, but which people on the ground are often denied.

Imagine our consternation when this brilliant light did not burn out, but abruptly halted directly in front of us. It was an intense blue-white light, approximately 7 or 6 times as bright as Venus when this planet is at its brightest magnitude. Pete shouted "What the hell is it, a jet?" His first thought, of course, was that the object was a diving jet fighter which had turned sharply away from us and in departing, was giving us a view right up its glowing tailpipe. Instantly I knew this could not possibly be an airplane. I have seen the glow of too many jet pipes at night not to recognize one when I see it. It was not the right color; it did not diminish in size, as a departing jet fighter's exhaust should have; and it remained motionless directly ahead of us, how far I cannot say, but it must have been quite a few miles.

I quickly grabbed my microphone and called the Mobile Control Tower. "Bates Tower, this is Capital 77. Look out toward the north and east and see if you can see a strange white light hovering in the sky."

"Capital 77, this is Mobile Bates Tower. We are unable to see much of the sky because of a thick cloud cover. Do you think the object is in our vicinity?"

"Affirmative. It looks like a brilliant white light bulb, about one tenth the size of the moon. It is directly ahead of us and at about our altitude, or slightly higher. We are right over Jackson, Alabama and have descended to 10,000 feet. Please initiate a call to Brookley Field Tower (Air Force Field 20 miles southeast of Bates Field) and ask the controller if he can see it on their big radar scope." (We did not have the military frequency crystals in our transmitter to work Brookley Tower.)

Cont..
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karl 12
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Re: UFO Skeptic Pilot Witnesses UFO Near Aircraft.

Post by karl 12 on Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:30 pm

Just after this exchange, the object began to maneuver. It darted hither and yon, rising and falling in undulating flight, making sharper turns than any known aircraft, sometimes changing direction 90 degrees in an instant. All the while the color remained constant, a brilliant blue-white, and the object did not grow or lessen in size. Macintosh and I sat there completely flabbergasted at this unnerving exhibition. I thought of calling the passengers over the public address system, but the object was dead ahead of us and putting on its performance in an area whose arc was not large enough to enable anybody in the cabin to get a view of it out the side windows. After a half minute or so of this dancing, unorthodox flight the object suddenly became motionless and hovered dead still. We were simply confounded by this.

Bates Tower called back, "Capital 77, we are trying to raise ths Brookley Tower"

Right at this moment the strange light began another series of crazy gyrations, lazy 8's, square chandellea, all the while weaving through the air with a sort of rythmic, undulating cadence, the likes of which neither Pete nor I had ever seen. Then, apparently content at the consternation which it had wrought, the object shot out ever the Gulf of Mexico, rising at the most breathtaking angle and at such a fantastic speed that it diminished rapidly to a pinpoint and was swallowed up in the night.
This unearthly exhibition probably went on for at least two minutes, according to our best judgment. I glanced at the clock and noted it read 10:12. The most puzzling thing about the whole occurrence, aside from the dancing flight, was that the object, whatever it was, had remained at the same distance from us throughout the performance. How do we know this? It never increased in size, and yet we were bearing down on it at more than 5 miles a minute in the Viscount. If it was in view two minutes and performing in one area we should have been at least ten miles closer to it. How, any object that flies certainly looks different when viewed at such a great variance in distance. So this UFO must have managed to remain at the same distance from us throughout the entire display.

If you know southern Alabama you know that it is pretty desolate country, with few inhabitants and only a few small hamlets between Mobile and Montgomery up in the middle of the state. We were above the clouds, precluding any reflections of searchlights from below. I have seen hundreds of advertising searchlights playing on clouds, and this was nothing remotely related. Likewise I am summarily ruling out aircraft (at least the ones we know), balloons, missiles, or any other earthlaunched device within my ken. The one thing which I can't get over is the fact that when it came, it came steeply downwards when it departed after its amazing exhibitio. It went steeply upward. Now I ask you, John, is this machine based on the earth?"

I followed up on this spectacular sighting after landing at Mobile The control tower operators had reached Brookley after a slight delay, but the controller had seen nothing, and since no night flights were in progress, the surveillance radar had not been energized at the time.

In case any of your members would like to know my background, you may give it to them. You will remember me as objectively skeptical and cynically critical of most of the purported saucer sightings. But I think you have to believe a veteran airline pilot with 17 years of service, 15,000 hours and 3 million miles in his log-book. I am seeking no publicity. I didn't report this sighting to the press and not a word has ever been printed about it until this moment.

W. J. Hull

Bluebook documents (pdf file)
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karl 12
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Re: UFO Skeptic Pilot Witnesses UFO Near Aircraft.

Post by karl 12 on Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:32 pm

Even the highly questionable Condon Report couldn't shoehorn a debunk onto this one and Dr James Mcdonald brings up the case in his 'Science In Default' article where he lists UFO incidents conceded by Condon to be 'unexplainable' and 'containing features of particularly strong scientific interest' (he also lists cases deemed 'explained' by the Condon report to which he takes 'strong exception to the argumentation presented').


Some examples of UFO cases conceded to be unexplainable in the Condon Report and containing features of particularly strong scientific interest:



Utica, N.Y., 6/23/55
Lakenheath, England, 8/13/56
Jackson, Ala., 11/14/56
Norfolk, Va., 8/30/57
RB-47 case, 9/19/57
Beverly Mass., 4/22/66
Donnybrook, N.D., 8/19/66
Haynesville, La., 12/30/66
Joplin, Mo., 1/13/67
Colorado Springs, Colo., 5/13/67


Some examples of UFO cases considered explained in the Condon Report for which I would take strong exception to the argumentation presented and would regard as both unexplained and of strong scientific interest:


Flagstaff, Ariz., 5/20/50
Washington, D. C., 7/19/52
Bellefontaine, O., 8/1/52
Haneda AFB, Japan, 8/5/5
Gulf of Mexico, 12/6/52
Odessa, Wash., 12/10/52
Continental Divide, N.M., 1/26/53
Seven Isles, Quebec, 6/29/5
Niagara Falls, N.Y., 7/25/57
Kirtland AFB, N.M., 11/4/57
Gulf of Mexico, 11/5/57
Peru, 12/30/66
Holloman AFB, 3/2/67
Kincheloe AFB, 9/11/67
Vandenberg AFB, 10/6/67
Milledgeville, Ga., 10/20/67

Science in Default - Twenty-Two Years of Inadequate UFO Investigations


Whatever the case this is a pretty compelling unexplained UFO incident involving a flabbergasted UFO skeptic and some incredibly strange UFO flight characteristics including 90° turns, lazy eights and square chandelles so it's a great shame that it was completely ignored by USAF UFO investigators - the article below also mentions there was a major UFO flap on in the U.S. at the time so maybe there could be other reports that corroborate this one.


A UFO flap covering the area of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota began on November 8th. The sightings, made during nearly every hour of the day and night, continued until December 2nd. More than 85 separate visual sighting reports from some 60 different localities were received from the three state area. Due to the unusually large number of reports, it was possible, in some instances, to determine that the same phenomenon was seen at widely separated areas. In other cases, the sighting reports indicate a great number of different objects were aloft at one time over different areas.

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Re: UFO Skeptic Pilot Witnesses UFO Near Aircraft.

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