Part 2-15:   Plan 62


June 6, 2006

Dan Wilson: 
Prof. Shapley, Director of Harvard Observatory said that a new comet should be visible in the northern hemisphere on the southwestern horizon on about January 1, 1948. Information pertaining to the appearance of a flaming red cone in the skies of Wilmington, Ohio, on January 7, 1948, at between 7:20 and 7:55 P.M.

Brad Sparks:
Without the centralized directories you put on NICAP and the BB Archive, access to scattered BB docs this would be hopeless and nothing could be accomplished.

Dan Wilson:
Corporal Hudson at Clinton AFB monitors Godman Control Tower theodolite tracking. Page II. The following information came over Plan 62. This observation was made at Godman control tower in Kentucky with an 8" telescope, cone-shaped object 43 feet by 100 feet, red with green tail, height, 4 miles. Observation made at Godman Field from 1854 to 1906 CST with a theodolite of a triangle-shaped object at 2.4 elevation, 254.6 Azimuth. Object last seen at 1.2 elevation, 253.0 Azimuth.
(See Case 48b in Alert Crew Statement  prior to this section)


June 7, 2006

Fran Ridge:
Brad, first of all, what is Plan 62?

Brad Sparks:
I think it is the intercom system between Godman, Standiford, Lockbourne, Clinton County, etc., which was patched together the afternoon of Jan 7, 1948, to keep everyone up to the minute on events.  People mention hearing about sightings at the other bases as it happened. Here are the figures based on US Naval Observatory calculations. <snip>  The problem with this being Venus is that the azimuths are off by 7-8 degs and the elevation by 7 degs at first, but more troubling is that the object WENT SOUTH from 6:54 to 7:02 PM, instead of Venus which WENT NORTH.  A setting celestial body cannot do this.  However the nearly simultaneous disappearance of Venus and the object is troubling too. <snip> And of course it could not possibly be a Skyhook balloon which would be invisible in the darkness.

Fran Ridge:
Air Force History Office research by Dan Wilson shows that Plan 62 was already in place 14 months before the Mantell incident.:

Dan Wilson located this information:

"Plan 62 ­ Military Flight Service Communications System (1946--1952) ­ (was) designed to provide a permanent integrated network of Army Air Forces (AAF) centers connected via AT&T long line circuits to furnish all common purpose aeronautical communications services pertaining to aircraft dispatch, movement and visual flight control within the continental U.S.  Plan 62 ensured that military authorities knew the whereabouts of every military aircraft operating in the U.S. at all times. Official operations began 1 Nov 46.

"Military personnel were stationed at Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) Air Route Traffic Control Centers throughout the U.S. prior to development of this system, which consolidated military communications (AACS), weather (AWS) and flight services (ATC) operations at nine regional flight service centers ­ Olmsted Field, Pa.; Wright Field, Ohio; Maxwell Field, Ala.; MacDill Field, Fla.; Fort Worth AAB, Tex.; Lowry Field, Colo.; Hamilton Field, Ca.; March Field, Ca.; and McChord Field, Wash.

"These centers were connected via interphone to regional CAA facilities, which retained control of all aircraft operating under instrument flight rule (IFR) conditions. Flying under visual conditions, pilots reported their positions to the military centers every 30 minutes and received necessary advisories; under IFR conditions, they first reported to the CAA centers, then to the military centers.

"By the end of 1947, the regional centers were connected via interphone to every AAF facility and certain Navy, Guard and Reserve stations within their regions ­ a total of 190 stations. By the end of 1948, MFCSC assumed responsibility for VFR flight plans and associated actions for 65 additional Navy, Marine and Coast Guard airfields. However, upgraded equipment and revised procedures allowed the Air Force to consolidate operations at several bases, thereby removing many of these additional stations by the close of 1950. Further equipment upgrades and procedural changes resulted in AACS transferring responsibility for MFCSC to the Military Air Transport Service (MATS) in September 1952 ­ there is no mention of MFCSC or Plan 62 in the histories after 1952."

Tom DeMary:
What about visibility, brightness? Note latest Airways Op report.

Brad Sparks:
We are all still compiling data.  One place that had Orner's report was incomplete.  Some of the rest of his data was recorded at another air base listening in on Godman's reporting of it, heard by Cpl Hudson on the "Plan 62" intercom/interphone system though he was at Clinton Co. AFB. 

Fran Ridge:
This is not new, Brad, I know, but I keep going back to it. And it is one of the reasons I never "bought" the Skyhook explanation in the first place, let alone alone Venus. (KY State Police reports of object, circular in appearance approximately  250 - 300' in diameter, moving westward at "a pretty good clip."

Brad Sparks:
Well we don't seem to have direct witness names and statements from Ky St Police.  No one else reports "250-300 ft" or "pretty rapid clip."  We need that corroborated from others if we can't get names and statements from Ky St Police.  Everyone else talks about slow moving until Pickering at Lockbourne that night. This is not a tight case. It's a lot of loose ends which have to be put together. The fact that private pilots tried to chase some object besides Mantell is a surprising new turn of events to be finding out about only in 2006.

Dan Wilson:
Cpl. James Hudson At Godman Tower, Jan. 7, 1948

Brad Sparks:
This caption by Dan is wrong, he misreads Hudson's account as Hudson being at Godman and doesn't understand that Hudson was in Ohio at Clinton County AFB listening in one Godman reporting its theodolite readings. Hudson wasn't at Godman.

Fran Ridge:
Tom caught that, but hell I wasn't sure what the doc said either. So Hudson wasn't a witnesss, just heard reports

Brad Sparks:
Hudson WAS a witness AT Clinton Co. AFB, Wilmington, Ohio, along with at least 5 others at CC AFB, I think.  He HEARD over the intercom the details of Godman's theodolite trackings done by Lt Orner.  If it wasn't for Hudson we wouldn't have all those exact figures (or else Orner's numbers are all somewhere we haven't found yet).  There is one place with a few of Orner's theodolite numbers but not all of them

Jean Waskiewicz:
I just checked and this reference is on page 34 in the published version. In the copy of the (Ruppelt' original) manuscript that I have this section is on pages 8 & 9 and (Maj. Jerre) Boggs is not lined through. I have attached both original scans in jpg format to show Boggs has not been lined out. Is it possible that there may be a different version of the manuscript out there somewhere? (Page 8 & 9)

Fran Ridge:
Here is the 19-page manuscript version of the Mantell incident, highlighted for pertinent lines.
Normal version with no highlighting
Let's digest this BEFORE we post!

Brad Sparks:

Dan Wilson:
SUBJECT: Report of Unusual Circumstance, 1940 hours, January 7, 1948
Observation of strange light to the Southwest of Lockbourne. The object was 15 degrees above the horizon. It then descended to the horizon and then ascended to its original position. Its course was elliptical, counter clock wise. The witness was Airways Operator CAF-7. (Brad Sparks:  This is the Lockbourne Control Tower operator who was an amateur astronomer, Frank M. Eisele, whose unsanitized report is elsewhere on BB Archives.)


June 8, 2006

Mary Castner:
Still working on the Mantell files for uploading. I am sure everyone will argue about that too. Was Venus involved or wasn't it...seems a mute point as people definitely saw a unusual balloon bulb shaped/cone/parachute/pear, with rope and payload or without probably depending on distance away. Just for the record a Skyhook automatically dropped it's payload by parachute if it descended to 30,000 ft. Then again I suppose everyone will argue about that too:)) There is enough errors in the reports that there is no 100% certainty that a direction or other reading is accurate. I personally go by the visual description which is clearly that of a Skyhook and one was definitely launched from Camp Ripley, MN launching site, 1/6/48.


June 9, 2006

Tom DeMary:
I look forward to more documents. The Sign/Blue Book documents do have errors, and seem to lack any precise information about the relative position in the sky of the object that Mantell pursued. Articles from local Kentucky newspapers might sort out some of the confusion. The visual descriptions of the Godman Field personnel and those of the Elizabethtown police (Elizabethtown was the flight corridor) point to "Skyhook" - I agree. All of the reports of the night time sightings (from 1948) are consistent with misperceptions of Venus. (I consider the 1977 base-circling revision of Pickering dubious, in conflict with his own 1948 testimony,  and in conflict with that of the three other witnesses at Lockbourne).

Brad Sparks:
Pickering's 1977 testimony does not conflict with his 1948 testimony -- in Jan 1948 he reported the object disappeared to the EAST at 120 degs azimuth (about ESE).  Venus was to the WSW (about 240 degs) at that time in the early evening.  We've been over this before.

I could have jumped on this sooner if my computer had not crashed, but you can go back over my postings with the 215 degree azimuth determined by Godman Tower and used to send Mantell and his two wingmen after it.  Complete with Godman Tower CORRECTING Mantell's heading slightly, by 5 degs to get him exactly onto the 215 heading.  Sounds to me like a lot of very "precise" positional data from Godman Field.

The BB files thus do have "precise" info on the position in the sky of the object that Mantell pursued.  Godman base commander Col Guy F. Hix stated that it was at azimuth 215 degs (about SSW), and as I said the BB files show that Godman Tower even corrected Mantell's flight heading with it.  News clips report that Col. Hix used a bracket to align his sighting of the object, which helped him determine that the object did not move for a long time, over an 1 hour.  Even Venus moved 17 degs in 1 hour and the Skyhook balloon was moving at about 20-30 mph supposedly to the SE, so at 100+ miles away (when it was too far away to be visible from Godman), when it was south of Nashville, it would have moved about 10 degs in 1 hour.  If it was close enough to be visible, like within 50 miles depending on the size of its visible sunlit area (parts not brightly sunlit are not visible at great distances) then this movement in 1 hour is about 20 degs.

Venus was at 33-35 degs elevation from 2:15 to 3 PM CST that day, from Godman Tower's location (37 54.4 N, 85 58.0 W).  The Skyhook balloon at 80,000 ft (15 miles high) when south of Nashville, would have been extremely low on the horizon from Godman Tower (and from Mantell's plane too at first) at about 6 degs elevation.  If the UFO was at 45 degs elevation, no matter how much reasonable witness error by Col Hix you postulate, you are not going to be able to make the Skyhook fit.  Venus is not even visible in bright sunlight to the naked eye, and if it was just barely visible it is absurd that anyone would take it seriously.

Brad Sparks:
Yes the map records the 1-6-48 Skyhook launch among a dozen Skyhooks from late 1947 to early 1949.  But they were NOT launched from Camp Ripley, that's another Moore lie, but launched from Milaca, Minn., 43 miles away.  Moore was NOT personally present contrary to his phony-baloney "strong memories" of launching the 1-6-48 Skyhook.  The Skyhook went straight SOUTH on almost a straight line, to azimuth 190 degs (slightly W of S), which is NOT the SE heading needed to get to Kentucky.  But since the tracking was lost after only 3 hours when it got to max altitude 80,000 ft, 63 miles from launch, it could have been blown by winds almost anywhere at some time after 3 hours and we would only know by reported visual sightings in newspapers since no one was getting weather data from higher than about 30,000 ft on a routine daily basis so we can't just check the upper winds.

The news reports from Nashville, Tenn., are pretty clearly that of a large Skyhook-like balloon headed SE, and many people sighted it with telescopes, including a 100x telescope from a radio station, descriptions include a "glassy" look which is like the translucent plastic used, "pear" shape with a "lumpy" cable (the photos of the 1-6-48 launch show NO "basket" below but a long cable with "lumps" for instruments).  The clincher is the amateur astronomer in or near Nashville who reported the exact times the balloon changed color from white sunlight to yellow at 4:50 PM to red sunset lighting at 5:05 PM to disappearance in earth's shadow at 5:12 PM.  This fits a balloon at 80,000 ft, and not 60,000 or 100,000 ft.  And that was the 1-6-48 Skyhook's altitude -- 80,000 ft.  That would mean astronomer Seyfert was wrong in estimating the balloon was at 25,000 ft (also when the Skyhook descended below 30,000 ft the cable would detach the instruments but that did not happen so it must not have gotten below 30,000 ft yet).

However everyone sighted the balloon to the SOUTH of Nashville at about 4:30 PM heading SE, "directly above the sun" (or higher than about 15 degs elevation) while observers in Columbia, Tenn., sighted the balloon to their NORTH at about 4 PM thus bracketing its location as between Nashville and Columbia, and thus about 150 miles away from Godman Field at the closest.  At Columbia a local Navy spokesman saw and identified the balloon as a special high-altitude "Naval weather balloon" that tended to disintegrate at high altitudes.  So much for Skyhook being a top secret in 1948.  ("Skyhook" itself was not a classified codename but was the PR nickname used in publicity releases.)

It simply defies the laws of physics for a 70-foot Skyhook only partially lit by the sun to be visible by the naked eye from 150 miles away from Godman Field.  Even Ruppelt admitted that a 100 ft Skyhook was visible only about 50-60 miles (one of the few bits of technical data Ruppelt actually got right, among the laughable blunders, probably because someone else did the research not him).  A 70 ft Skyhook could not have been visible farther than about 45 miles away.


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