IMCAT Case Directory
Category 08, Photographic / Video Images
Preliminary Rating: 5
Aug. 15, 1950; Great Falls, Montana (BBU)
11:30 a.m. Nick Mariana, the general manager of the Great Falls "Electrics" baseball team, while checking the wind at a baseball field, saw two saucer-shaped objects motionless in the sky. Mariana ran to his car to get his movie camera. Mariana at this point started to film the objects. The objects were still motionless except for a tilt and then the objects corrected their plane to a seemingly balanced position. The objects then made an abrupt flight in an arc motion at a very high speed. He was able to obtain 16 mm color movies of the two UFOs which appear as bright circular points of light. This once Top Secret footage of UFOs, filmed at closer range, are considered as "unknown". Sections of the film (35 frames) confirming visual observation of discs with rotating rims, were reported missing from film when returned by Air Force. Remaining footage was contained in United Artists documentary movie "UFO" and compared to July 2, 1952, Trementon, Utah film showing similar images. Mr. Mariana used Daylight Kodachrome film in a Revere turret type camera and obtained 315 frames showing the UFOs. The film was examined by the Air Force and Navy, but no formal reports released. Report on Photogrammetric analysis by Dr. Robert M.L. Baker, Jr., Douglas Aircraft Corporation, on file at NICAP. Air Force explanation that UFOs were reflections off jet aircraft said to be "quite strained," and the analyst states no definite conclusion. However, UFOs could not be explained as any conventional objects.
1). the local USAF investigator on this wrote that it happened August 15th; 2). Blue Book proceeded as if that was true vis-a-vis debunking, thus going for the "two jets landing" at the airbase that day; 3). Ruppelt chose to write about the case as if it were August 15th; 4). the Great Falls Leader of August 15th has a newsclipping about the filming and says therein: " Two objects... sailed across the sky at Legion park this morning". What we can at least say is that the local newspaper was told that it just happened. This then would easily be the earliest statement by Mariana as to the date. I believe that Colorado also dealt with it as a August 15th date
I've been doing a lot of searching and digging in old newspapers and finally got into Montana papers. It is now a done deal that Mariana's baseball team was called the "Electrics," not "Selectrics." I think the mistake came one time when someone dragged a lazy "S" either verbally or in print and the "S" in Great Falls migrated to the Electrics. "Great Falls Selectrics." See what I mean?
Knowing about image reduction in my Lunascan work I can state very clearly that based on what the camera/film shows are objects that would have been very large to the eye and that jet sounds would have been very noticeable. Ruppelt's own investigation then ruled out aircraft, and as far as he was concerned the case was an "unknown." (104) The July/August 1950 sighting index says the files are in a "separate folder." Dan Wilson recently located 110 documents. [August 2012]
Detailed reports and documents
reports/500815greatfalls_report4.htm [110 documents] (Dan Wilson)
The Secret Montana UFO Film (NICAP You Tube site)
Utah & Montana Films, Extended Analyses (You Tube/U.F.O. doc 1956)
The Original Story (Capt. Edward J. Ruppelt/Report on UFOs)