The Bethune/Argentia Encounter
February 10, 1951
Off Newfoundland, Canada
James McDonald's letter to NICAP shows William D. Bridge was the weather navigator on that flight and mentioned another witness named Abrams. Another witness was Fred Kingdon who says Bethune was a co-pilot on his flight and that the AF investigation team at Argentia classified the incident as Top Secret. Finally, the final testimony of Graham Bethune was written by Robert Durant and is presented below in a doc file..
Major Donald Keyhoe had learned of this hidden report in 1959. Admiral Delmer S. Fahrney, former Navy guided missile chief (whom he had known for years) told him that Captain James Taylor, USN, Ret., had an important UFO sighting made by a naval pilot and his crew. That night Taylor gave him the report.
On the night of the UFO encounter, a four engine Navy R5D transport was flying west over the Atlantic. On this trip the pilots and navigators were bringing two flight crews home from special duty in Europe. Including his own crew there were over twenty-five pilots, navigators and flight engineers aboard the transport. The National Archives turned up a number of supporting documents on this case, including Air Intelligence Information Reports by five of the crew members. Although it isn't documented, reports indicate the object was tracked by ground radar. Publicly, the Air Force made several attempts to explain the sighting as the aurora borealis (northern lights) or the Moon, but behind the scenes the encounter was; being taken very seriously. The number and quality of UFO sightings in the region in 1950 prompted the government of Iceland to request military aid from the United States. Apparently what we know today as UFOs were interpreted as experimental Soviet bombers. After 50 years of waiting, no craft with this discription or performance has shown up in any Earthly inventory, Russion or American. This event, and others like it, prompted the development of the Air Defense Command.
I must say that after reading the BB file, the notion that they saw the moon seems absurd. It is very clear that the object approached from one direction, then (a la Nash-Fortenberry) reversed direction at a very sharp angle and disappeared over the horizon in quite a different position. Quite an "illusion!"
In par 10 of Bethune's report he states that Capt. D.H. Paulson's written and radar report was not on microfilm (meaning BB files I guess). So there may be a radar report.
NICAP A-Team T-3 Source Test & Case Analysis
Map produced 14 May 2009 by Joel Carpenter
UFOs and the Cold war: 1951 - Dan Wilson
Re-Opening the Bethune Case - Investigation Activity Log - Fran Ridge
NARA-PBB89-420, Naval Message
Tentative Feelings (Michael swords - 2009)
The Writings of Loren Gross on the Bethune Case - Mike Swords
CASEBOOK - Feb. 8, 1951, N.Atlantic - NICAP UFOI - Sept 1970 & Oct. 1970 (pdf file)
The Bethune Case - Dan Wilson File
The NICAP Files - Part 1 (Submitted by Jan Aldrich)
The NICAP Files - Part 2 (Submitted by Jan Alsrich)
The NICAP Files - Part 3 (Submitted by Jan Aldrich)
Blue Book Documents and Transcripts
Letter to Stuart Nixon from McDonald concerning William Bridge
May 23, 2009 email message from Robert Durant confirming he wrote the Final Text report below
The Final Text - Graham Bethune & Robert Durant (doc file)
The Original Story (Dates & Names Changed) - Maj. Donald Keyhoe
Update on Case - The Question of Radar - Robert Durant
NICAP Home Page