Form: 97 Research
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2006 17:23:32 +0100 (BST)
From: daniel wilson <>
Subject: Rocketdyne engineers observed three UFOs climbing at high speed  11/11/57
Cat: 1
To: Francis Ridge <>
Nov. 11, 1957; San Fernando Valley, Calif.
Rocketdyne engineers observed three UFOs climbing at high speed. [UFOE, VI]
Rocketdyne Engineers
During a large flurry of UFO sightings in November 1957, four engineers for Rocketdyne, near Canoga Park, California, observed three UFOs flying in formation in bright daylight. One of the engineers, Harold R. Lamb, Jr., filled out a NICAP report form. [10.]
November 11, 1957: at 4:20 p.m. the group was driving in a generally ESE direction from the Rocketdyne SanSu facility toward Canoga Park, with the late afternoon sun to their back. One of the men happened to look up and saw three shiny objects crossing their path, from NE to SW. He alerted the others, and they all clearly saw a large narrow oval object (almost cigar- shaped) accompanied by two smaller nearly circular objects (slightly oval, as if discs viewed at an angle). The large UFO was silvery on top, but bright orange underneath, possibly reflecting sunlight. The two smaller UFOs were solid silver colored. Keeping the same positions relative to each other, a V with one of the smaller objects slightly ahead and one slightly behind the large object, the three UFOs accelerated and climbed away into the distance.

The four men compared notes, and arrived at a consensus of opinion that the UFOs were first seen at about 10,000 feet altitude, climbing to 30,000 feet, at an estimated 5000 mph.
Map showing the location of Canoga Park, California, approximately 10 miles east of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (Rocketdyne SanSu facility)  
The Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL) is a once prolific rocket and nuclear reactor test facility located 30 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, California. It continues to operate today, serving as a research facility for Boeing Corp. The first commercial nuclear-power producing reactor inside the United States was built at SSFL. The reactor powered over 1,100 homes in the Moorpark area of California for a short period of time. SSFL, however, also became home to the first meltdown of a power-producing reactor in the United States on July 26, 1959 as well. Today, all nuclear research and most rocket testing has been halted.
Various research initiatives, such as the development of the Saturn rockets that powered the Apollo missions, the rockets that powered the vast ballistic missile arsenal of the United States during the Cold War years, and even a program to develop nuclear reactors for use in outer space were undertaken at this facility that still remains widely unknown to the public.




Founded in the mid-1940s, SSFL was slated as a government facility dedicated to the development and testing of nuclear reactors, powerful rockets like the Delta II, and the systems that powered the Apollo missions. SSFL was designed as a remote field laboratory to conduct work that was considered too dangerous to be performed in more densely populated areas. In subsequent years however, Southern California’s population mushroomed. Large numbers of people now live within a few miles of the facility, some within a mile.
At a size of nearly 2800 acres (11 km²), SSFL is situated on top of the Simi Hills, overlooking Simi Valley to the north, Chatsworth, Canoga Park, and the West Hills areas of the San Fernando Valley—a densly populated area on the northernmost border of Los Angeles' city limits—to the south.
Throughout the years, approximately ten nuclear reactors operated at SSFL, in addition to several “critical facilities,” a plutonium fuel fabrication facility, a uranium carbide fuel fabrication facility, and a “hot lab” where irradiated fuel was shipped in from around the country to be decladded and examined.
The reactors located on the grounds of SSFL were considered experimental, and therefore had no containment structures. The reactors and highly radioactive components were housed without the large concrete domes surrounding modern power reactors.
Numerous accidents occurred at the site. On July 26, 1959, the Sodium Reactor Experiment (SRE) suffered a power excursion, in which power production from the reactor rose out of control. With significant effort, the reactor was shut down. However, a few hours later it was restarted, without the cause of the incident having been determined. The reactor continued to operate for several more weeks, with high radiation readings and other signs of problems, until it was shut down at the end of the month.
After a full shut down was completed, the reactor operators discovered that a significant fraction of the fuel had suffered melting. Tetralin, a coolant used for the pump seals, had leaked into the sodium coolant of the reactor. Carbonaceous material formed, blocking the coolant channels, preventing the sodium coolant from reaching the reactor core, which in turn caused the fuel to overheat and melt.
Approximately one-third of the fuel experienced melting.
Radioactive gases were released from the reactor into holding tanks and then bled into the atmosphere over a period of weeks. The extent of the radioactive releases remains uncertain to this date, but some estimates put the amount at more than 260 times the amount of radiation that was released at the Three Mile Island facility. Some monitors went off scale; few measurements of the sodium coolant were taken. Later, the few measurements that were taken emerged to be contradictory. However, the ratios of volatile radionuclides found in the coolant suggest significant releases from the coolant to the environment may have occurred.
In 1964 the System for Nuclear Auxiliary Power (SNAP) 8ER reactor operated for a year without its operators realizing that the fuel had been cracking. After shutdown, it was determined that 80% of the fuel had cracked. A few years later, in 1969, the same type of accident occurred with the SNAP 8DR, with about a third of its fuel suffering damage.
The hot lab suffered fires resulting in the spread of contamination. The sodium burn pit, an open-air pit for cleaning sodium-contaminated components, was also contaminated when radioactively and chemically-contaminated items were burned there, in contravention of safety requirements.
Other spills and releases occurred over the decades of operations as well. In 1989, a Department of Energy(DOE) investigation found widespread chemical and radioactive contamination on the property. Widely publicized in the local press, the revelations led to substantial concern among community members and elected officials, resulting in a challenge to and subsequent shutdown of continued nuclear activity at the site, and the filing of lawsuits. Cleanup commenced, and EPA was brought in at the request of local legislators to provide oversight.
In 2005, wild fires swept through northern Los Angeles County and parts of Ventura County. The fires consumed most of the dry brush throughout the Simi Hills where SSFL is located. Substantial fire damage was done to the facility. Since the fire, allegations have emerged that vast quantities of on-site contamination was burned up, and released into the air. Most recently, Los Angeles County firefighters who were assigned to SSFL during the fire have been sent for medical testing to see if any harmful doses were ingested or inhaled while protecting the facility.
While community members and firefighters have expressed concern about the amount of exposure, Boeing personnel stand by their position that no contamination of the air resulted from the fire, and that any contamination that may have been consumed by the fire was negligible.
California's Department of Toxic Substances Control also claims that no significant contamination occurred as a result of the fire. Although the Field Lab is under current criticism for violating almost 50 discharge permits, State agencies have been silent on the issue. Recently, lawyers disclosed to the California Water Board that over 80 exceedances of Boeing's discharge permits were found in the past year alone. In January of 2006, the State Water Resources Control Board finally stepped in, and refused some requests by Boeing for even lighter standards.
Also in 2006, a Plaintiff in a suit against Boeing came forward to lambast her attorneys, who, as she claimed, accepted a $30 million dollar settlement with Boeing without her approval. The attorneys stand to collect $18 million, or 60% of the settlement amount after their costs and fees are subtracted from the settlement. The Plaintiff who disclosed the allegedly tainted deal is splitting the rest of the settlement with other plaintiffs and will only receive around $30,000, a far cry from the amount she will need for extensive future medical treatments for diseases that were linked to contamination from the SSFL facility.
Conflict over the facility is ongoing.

Conflict over cleanup

After many years of rocket testing, widespread use of many highly toxic chemicals to power the tests and cleanup of the teststands, and numerous nuclear reactor incidents, SSFL remains a highly polluted facility to this day.
There has been much contemporary debate about contamination at the facility. At the core of this debate is the future of the facility. The owners, the Boeing Company have issued many statements that suggests the facility may be sold for future residential development without adherence to EPA cleanup standards. As of August 2, 2005, Pratt & Whitney has purchased Rocketdyne from Boeing, but refused to acquire the SSFL facility as part of the sale.
In 1989, the DOE found widespread chemical and radioactive contamination at the site, and a cleanup program commenced. In 1995 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the DOE announced that they had entered into a Joint Policy agreement to assure that all DOE sites would be cleaned up to standards consistent with EPA’s Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) standards, also known as Superfund.
In March of 2003, DOE reversed its position, and, while claiming adherence to the policy, announced that the site would not be cleaned up to EPA standards. DOE stated that only 1% of the contaminated soil would be removed, and the site would be released for unrestricted residential use in as little as ten years.
In August 2003, the Senate Appropriations Committee issued a report on the Energy and Water Appropriations, urging DOE to live up to its commitments in the 1995 Joint Policy and clean up SSFL to EPA’s CERCLA standards. Shortly thereafter, DOE responded to the Senate, claiming it was in fact consistent with both the Joint Policy and EPA’s CERCLA standards.
In December 2003, soon after DOE's announcement that it was consistent with EPA standards, the EPA issued formal findings that the cleanup was not consistent with its CERCLA standards, and that sufficient contamination would remain such that unrestricted residential use would be dangerously inappropriate, and that the only safe use under the circumstances would be restricted day hikes with limitations on picnicking.

Community involvement

Every quarter, Simi Valley hosts workgroup meetings concerning the cleanup of the Laboratory that is open to the public and public comment.
The workgroup consists of representatives from the California Department of Toxic Substances Control and the EPA. Public policy organizations such as Committee to Bridge the Gap also send representatives as part of the work group. Other organizations and private companies also attend as part of the workgroup depending on the topic pending. The meeting is moderated by the EPA.
The DOE and Boeing are also invited to the workgroup meetings but have not attended for the past several years.
The workgroup meetings are held at the following location:
Cultural Arts Center 3050 Los Angeles Avenue Simi Valley, CA 93065
Contact the Cultural Arts Center regarding the next workgroup meeting: (805) 583-7900

See also

External links

At  Santa Susana Field Laboratory in 1957 there were three nuclear reactors in operation.  
One being;
Sodium-cooled, Graphite-moderated Reactors
Design of the Sodium Reactor Experiment (SRE) started in Area IV in 1954 to demonstrate
the feasibility of high-temperature, sodium-cooled, graphite-moderated reactors as an energy
source for power stations.
In 1957 as part of the demonstration, the SRE provided electricity to the City of Moorpark.
The SRE reactor, located in Building 4143, operated at a maximum power level of 20
megawatts (MWth) from 1957 until 1964. In 1959, the SRE reactor experienced a coolant
failure that resulted in damage to fuel elements including melting of cladding on 13 fuel
assemblies. The reactor was shut down for repair on July 27, 1959, and restarted on
September 5, 1960. The reactor operated without further incident until 1964 when the DOE
terminated the SRE. Volume 2 provides a detailed description of incidents in Building 4143
that could have resulted in a release of radioactive contamination to the environment.
Decontamination of Building 4143 began in 1974 and continued through 1983. The
building was used as a storage facility from 1983 to 1999, when it was demolished.
More on the Sodium Graphite Reactor at: