Letter from Office of Naval Research, Pasadena Branch to
Chief of Naval Research. Subject: Details on old report of
Original source file.
Updated 29 Feb 2016
Brad Sparks wrote:
This Dec 23, 1952, ONR-Pasadena
letter tries to downplay and dismiss the radiation
excursions as faulty equipment and uses weasel-wording and
blatant contradiction from one paragraph to the next.
Maybe it was some equipment problem, I don't know, but
they do not tell the truth about what it was, if it was.
I do know that when I catch them lying and trying to
mislead then I have to suspect something was up and doubt
everything they say that is disparaging of anything
anomalous having occurred.
The letter has to be parsed
carefully, word by word:
"... an effort has been made to
information conerning [sic] [concerning] recurrences of the
the reported by this office in November 1949, reference (b).
Dr. A. [Albert] B. Focke of the Navy Electronics
Laboratory [NEL], reports that no further incidents were
observed although the equipment was operated at Palomar
until about a year ago."
COMMENT: This is outright
contradicted in the very next paragraph!!! How obvious
can you get?? Next para says there were "further reports" in January 1950 !! Two months
after the last Oct 1949 reports claimed by Dr. Focke as never
"2. Enclosure (1) [=
ONR-Pasadena report Nov 23, 1949] is ... believed to be a
full account containing all that was known at the time."
COMMENT: Except it is missing
any reports on the two aircraft flyover tests conducted with
a variety of aircraft types on Oct 21 and Nov 2, 1949,
attempting to see if some kind of electronic equipment
interference could cause the off-scale readings on the
cosmic-ray Geiger-counter recording equipment (none did).
"Subsequently, the only
development known to this office came in January 1950 when, in response to
COMMENT: This contradicts and
refutes the previous claim that no further radiation reports or
incidents had occurred again since about Oct 1949.
There were "further reports" in Jan 1950. We
know from McDonald's 1967-70 investigations of the Palomar
and other radiation incidents that these Jan 1950 "reports"
must have included that of Palomar Observatory engineer
Bruce H. Rule who had a daytime sighting of multiple
UFO's when radiation instruments showed an excursion.
Bruce Rule was future Chief Engineer of Palomar and Mt
Wilson Observatories, in high demand by observatories all
over the world, had been CalTech synchrotron engineer since
One would think that Bruce Rule was
highly knowledgeable of electronic equipment run at his
observatory and of exotic high-energy radiation equipment
(synchrotons) and was not some menial "janitor" or "PR" flak
who could be fooled by common or trivial equipment problems.
"... in January 1950 when, in
response to further reports of erratic equipment behavior
[=radiation excursions], the apparatus was returned to NEL
[Pt. Loma] for a detailed check."
COMMENT: In fact, McDonald
found out from Palomar Observatory personnel that the
radiation measurement equipment had been previously returned
to NEL Pt Loma before Jan 1950, on the weekend of Oct 21-24,
1949, right after the failure of the first aircraft flyover
to reproduce the "off-scale" radiation meter responses or
get any response whatsoever. (Logically, why the hell would
they wait 3 months to do such a basic internal equipment
checkout??? Obviously they did it right away.)
NEL found nothing wrong with the equipment and it was
returned to Palomar in Oct 1949 where it continued to
have one further radiation incident, then incidents stopped
for a few months.
No one actually describes this
alleged "erratic" behavior to show why the word "erratic"
applies, or denies that it was in fact, once again, in Jan
1950, "off-scale" responses. This is malicious comment
designed to denigrate the nature of the incidents and the
quality of the personnel reporting the incidents so that the
whole thing can be shoved under the carpet and
"A faulty fuse clip was found.
According to reference (c), [= NEL Pt Loma letter of
Jan 30, 1950], "very slight jarring of this clip produced
a visible arc together with a spurious signal indicated on
the aural [sound] alarm and an aberration of the recorder
pen"." [Quotes the NEL Pt Loma letter we don't have]
COMMENT: Yeah basically if
you short out the entire freaking electrical power supply to
the Geiger equipment you can get a reaction, obviously.
No one found any such "faulty fuse clip" in the
previous return of equipment to NEL in Oct 1949. No
one was moving the fuse clip on any of the 23 radiation
incidents in Oct 1949 or the unstated number in Jan 1950.
Apparently there were some manhandling type efforts
with the machinery in Nov 1949 to try to get a rise out of
it and only once could they get a reaction (more on this
All they got from the fuse clip was
a mere "aberration of the recorder pen" -- apparently it was
only a minor response or else they would have crowed all
about how they got the "completely off-scale" response just
like that reported in the radiation incidents.
Obviously they only got a trivial reaction out of the
recording needle when jiggling the fuse clip, and added the
dramatic but irrelevant detail about a "visible arc" --
which nevertheless did not produce a huge "visible" needle
The ONR-Pasadena letter of Nov 7,
1949, reported that:
"In working with the quipment
[sic] [equipment] Wdnesday [sic] [Wednesday, Nov. 2,
1949] following the airplane tests one signal similar to
the unknown ones occurred while moving the main 110 volt
connecting plug. [But] Following this one
occurrence we were unable to reproduce the phenomena
TRANSLATION: "We jiggled the
electric cord to the house current at the Observatory
instrument room and noticed that once and only once could we
get any reaction, in effect by violently spiking the entire
power level, and got one response like the
'unknown' radiation responses -- but again only once.
We could never get it again no matter how hard we
tried to monkey with the electric cord and the power
Funny how with all of this
manhandling of the equipment on Nov. 2, 1949, and with the
dismantling and transport to Pt Loma NEL on the weekend of
Oct 21-24, that the purportedly "faulty fuse clip" didn't
cooperate to give ANY reaction on the recording needle.
In fact, it is highly likely that
the dismantling and reassembly of the equipment, the long
70-mile drives back and forth between Palomar and Pt Loma,
and the probing for defects is what caused the fuse clip to
get damaged, made "faulty." And it was still
2-3 months before any new supposedly false radiation
responses occurred from the purported "faulty fuse clip."
(Okay maybe it got damaged on the trip back to Pt Loma
in Jan 1950 when the damage was first discovered, in which
case it wasn't damaged back in Oct 1949 when the first 23
radiation incidents occurred.)
This b.s. fooled the Robertson
Panel, which cavalierly dismissed it all without any
in-depth investigation or study.
And an interesting commentary on
the competence, or lack thereof, of the dismissive 1953 CIA
Robertson Panel and the dismissive Cal Tech physicist H.
Victor Neher examining the incidents for the Navy in Oct-Nov
1949, is their total failure to point out that Geiger
counters always go "completely off-scale" when radiation
reaches a certain low threshold level and therefore it
absolutely does not mean the radiation level went
"off-scale." Geiger counters are unusable for high
levels of radiation. Their amplification circuits go
"off-scale" when a certain low threshold level is reached.
This is Geiger Counters 101. (It was Neher's
comment about the "amplifying mechanism" of a Geiger counter
that reminded me and made me realize he was totally
overlooking a simple basic of Geiger counters.)
"Off-scale" on the Geiger
counter does not automatically mean "off-scale" on the
So these radiation incidents do not
necessarily indicate any high radiation exposure.
Probably the Palomar astronomical film plates would
have been damaged by a high radiation exposure at the
instrument facility, even though 800 feet away, unless a
(presumed) UFO deliberately avoided flying near the
Observatory dome and/or avoided exposing it to
These are basic scientific facts
that have escaped the greatest scientific minds and others
in 66 years -- but maybe didn't escape the engineers.
I might find that McDonald learned a lot more.
Several years ago I discovered a
1.5-hour periodicity in the dates and times of the Palomar
radiation incidents, in multiples of that time increment,
but without following a coherent earth orbit (a standard Low
Earth Orbit has a 90-minute period). Also, I noticed
that certain times are exactly repeated, e.g., a radiation
spike occurred at 0720 hrs (7:20 AM) on three different
dates (Oct. 15, 17, 21, 1949; the equipment apparently was
working on Oct. 19 and recorded spikes at other times but
not the 0720 time we might expect for a
perfect repetitive 2-day pattern). I don't know
what that means. Times do not correspond to any
obvious workday arrival or departure time or lunch hour, or
sunset or sunrise times for astronomers on night duty,
Nice work on this special
document page. This page should be linked onto Palomar
Oct 1949 pages in the Chrono, etc.
Has Jan sent you my master
List of Radiation Incidents? (Jan: Discard your
previous copy.) Here is my revised / corrected version
(I accidentally repeated a Traxler / Palomar UFO on two
mornings at 0720 when it was only one morning; I was tired
and bleary eyed):
LIST OF RADIATION
Oct 14 Fri 1315 with UFO
sighting at Palomar (Marshall & Traxler)
Oct 14 Fri 1320 with UFO
sighting at Palomar (Traxler)
Oct 14 Fri 2230
Oct 15 Sat 0720
Oct 15 Sat 1320
Oct 15 Sat 2030
Oct 16 Sun 0330
Oct 16 Sun 0900
Oct 16 Sun 1330
Oct 16 Sun 2200
Oct 17 Mon 0300
Oct 17 Mon 0720 with UFO
sighting at Palomar (Traxler)
Oct 17 Mon 1140
Oct 17 Mon 1545
Oct 17 Mon 2155
Oct 18 Tue 0400
Oct 18 Tue 1015
Oct 18 Tue 1633
Oct 19 Wed 0420
Oct 19 Wed 2040
Oct 20 Thu 1500 (the
“none to 1500” may mean equipment was turned off
all day till just before 1500)
Oct 21 Fri 0720
(Oct 21 Fri 1430 no
radiation – but was UFO sighting by Palomar /
Traxler & Palomar Gardens / Adamski)
Oct 24 Mon 1930-2000
Jan 1950 multiple, with
one with UFO’s sighted (Bruce H. Rule Palomar
Staff Engineer per J. Fred Kalbach to McDonald,
Jan 1, 1970)
1950 LOS ALAMOS
June 15 W. W. Carter (no
record kept / missing record)
June 23 Sandia Rumor
June 24 Sandia Rumor
June 29 W. W. Carter (no
record kept / missing record)
Oct 1 1921-1924 MST W. W.
Oct 2 1401-1402 MST W. W.
Oct 4 2305 MST W. W.
Carter (no record kept / missing record?)
Oct 9 0858 MST W. W.
1950 OAK RIDGE
Nov 29 1900 hrs Alpha
& gamma ray increase with unidentified radar
targets in same location of Oak Ridge Labs
1952 LOS ALAMOS
May 25 0124 MDT Gittings
(May 25 0958 MDT radar
(May 25 2330 ? same as
0124 radiation excursion?)
Aug 26 1442 MDT
Aug 28 0717 MDT Gittings