From: "Martin Shough" <mshough@parcellular.fsnet.co.uk>
To: <shg@ns2.txbs.net>
Subject: Re: [SHG] triangulation
Date: Sun, 17 Apr 2005 15:11:35 +0100

Hi Brad
It seems to me unsatisfactory that for Apr 27 we have a report of a height but no azimuth-elevation figures, nor even an angular rate; whilst on the other hand for May 24 we have exact azimuth-elevation figures and can infer accurate angular rates, but we have no triangulated range!
 
I find it strange that Mitchell only says speed was "indeterminable", given that angular size, angular rate, altitude, and slant-range to a map location "over the Holloman range between the base and Tularosa Peak" are all supposedly known. Why would you cheerfully affirm the existence of impossible fast-moving 30-foot objects at impossible altitudes, yet be a bit embarrassed about the exact speed, so shy that you invented a ridiculous lie about speed being "indeterminable" when this makes your own report internally inconsistent?
 
I don't necessarily buy it, but if we are accepting that Mitchell was of a mind to fudge something in his report then it seems at least as likely to me that he was aware that at least one of the four conclusions in his para.3 was not really as strongly based as it ought to be, and he was uncomfortable about the implied speed - not because he thought "the truth" would be too hard for people to take (or whatever) but just because he was uncomfortable about the reliability of all the figures.
 
He says that the triangulation rests on "a single azimuth angle from station M-7". That reads to me as implying something less than perfectly satisfactory about the triangulation. Maybe he had a suspicion that this "single azimuth angle" was not enough, but was asked (in the reference "conversation between Col. baines and Cpt. Bryant") not to speculate but to just "do the best with what you've got".
 
As for May 24, your BB UNK summary gives terminal azimuth and elevation only for one object filmed for 6 frames and a different object filmed for 74 frames, saying no triangulation was possible. I reckon the angular rate in the first case is roughly about 0.7 deg/sec, in the second case around 0.1 degree/sec. At 150,000 ft this would be roughly equivalent to about 1200 mph and 200 mph respectively, but the objects could be at any height. At 30,000 ft the speeds would be 240 and 40 mph. The jet stream core tends to be around 30-40,000 ft. Jet stream winds have been known to exceed 300 mph and could shift a balloon at 240 mph.
 
Not likely maybe, because the average N American jet speed in October is probably a third of this speed, and the core is also probably a lot further south; also the inferred directions are N and S whereas the average jet direction will be E-W. But without looking in detail maybe it isn't wise to say impossible. And if there's no reliable height data at all (which there definitely isn't in this May case) these could have been 12 mph thistledowns at 1500 ft for all we know. The operators may have been "reliable" in tracking rockets, but does this mean that they're dependable interpreters of anything they might see in the sky? I don't buy that either.
 
Martin

From: Brad Sparks
Subject: Re: [SHG] triangulation
To: shg@ns2.txbs.net
Date: Sun, 17 Apr 2005 15:43:41 EDT


Brad:  I don't see a problem with a single azimuth reading from theodolite station M-7 on the Apr 27 case, after all it was a reading from a theodolite by someone accustomed to taking such readings from fast-moving rocket launches and was not from human guesswork, and the 4 objects were closely enough spaced that they all fell within the field of view.  Mitchell wasn't "fudging" anything by simply not reporting what he felt was a fantastic number.  No doubt Kenneth Arnold regretted he ever told anyone his 1800 mph estimate (which he kept progressively chopping down to 1200 mph still to no one's satisfaction) and I believe he made comments to that effect. 

Also you must consider the extreme sensitivity of the White Sands UFO trackings which were to the point that AF Cambridge Labs made strenuous efforts for 2 YEARS to get Dr Mirarchi criminally prosecuted for alluding to the trackings in the press.  Ruppelt and Col Oder lied about the trackings to the Robertson Panel, telling them there was only one lousy photo obtained in total (Ruppelt lied in his book claiming he did tell the Panel, which is refuted by the Durant Report). 

And finally, there is also the matter of classified oral briefings filling in what they did not want to put down on paper, and also Holloman deferring to AFCRL to do the full analyses.  AFCRL personnel were frequently at Holloman-White Sands in 1950 finding out firsthand;  Mirarchi happened to be on base on April 27-28, 1950, right when the first tracking incident occurred and arranged to have the film developed and a report sent to him for FURTHER ANALYSIS.  We don't have any of Mirarchi's analyses.  These may be where more detailed uncensored discussion takes place. 

Although I don't have a precise FOV estimate for the Askania theodolites my impression is that the May 24 objects were on the order of magnitude of at least 1/1000 radian in size, therefore IF (a BIG IF) they were at say 30,000 ft then they were at least 30 ft in size (slant range actually much greater so at least 50 ft or so). 

But what is the jet stream like in MAY not October?


From: Brad Sparks
Subject: Re: [SHG] triangulation
To: shg@ns2.txbs.net
Date: Sun, 17 Apr 2005 19:20:01 EDT

B:  That's right, all you need is the second azimuth to give you the actual distance.  The azimuth is crucial because you need to know if this second sighting location's sighting line cuts across the first station's sighting lines, otherwise you don't know you have a triangulation. 


From: "Martin Shough" <mshough@parcellular.fsnet.co.uk>
To: <shg@ns2.txbs.net>
Subject: Re: [SHG] triangulation
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2005 18:28:08 +0100

Yes, you can triangulate with only an azimuth reading, but can we guarantee that the object(s) filmed from the two separate sites were the same object(s)? Did Mitchell believe this to be certain? Maybe he did, but then why didn't he have the courage of his convictions and decline to follow through on stating the implied speed? A pretty exact lower bound could have been calculated from az and el at P-10 plus "a single azimuth reading" at M-7. This alone would have been important information to submit in Mitchell's report (which states that it is information submitted pursuant to request, not that it is just a covering letter or abstract of information detailed in inclosures - there are no inclosures listed). But more, an exact true rate could be given by reducing a similar set of az and el readings from M-7, or at least the full range of azimuth readings. Yet there was only "a single azimuth reading". This suggests to me that the reason Mitchell describes the speed as "indeterminable" - which after all means literally that he couldn't determine it - may be because information from M-7 wasn't sufficient to allow him to determine it.
 
My point is this: The film from P-10 station yielded elevation and azimuth readings (plural) "on four objects". Yet the mathematical reduction unit only produced "a single azimuth reading" from the M-7 film. If you had azimuth readings on 4 objects from M-7 you'd either say that or leave the reader to assume that. Yet Mitchell separates his numbered paragraphs in such a way as to tell us that the "azimuth and elevation angles on four objects" came only from P-10 , whereas the information from M-7 was limited to "a single azimuth angle". I read this as meaning that one ought to have expected, or would have liked to have had, multiple azimuth angles from M-7. but didn't.
 
Well maybe Mitchell means that he is using "a single [average] azimuth value" taken from the M-7 film? But if you are selecting a representative average azimuth value from the M-7 film then you might say that. On the other hand, if there was only one reading to use - because there was only a distinct image on one frame, for example, or because there was instrument fault, or because the azimuth rate of the M-7 object was actually zero - then you might say that the information you have is only "a single azimuth reading" and you might also be guarded in placing too much reliance on inferred high speed.
 
Of course if the images on the two films were definitely of the same phenomena then even one clear frame with a reliable azimuth reading would be sufficient. But do we know this? A cluster of 4 objects sounds quite distinctive, but it isn't clear to me that the "four objects" filmed from P-10 were filmed simultaneously, although this impression might be gained from a remark in the letter to Mirarchi which refers generally to occasions when objects had sometimes been seen in groups. The MRU report actually says that "azimuth and elevation angles were recorded on four objects" at P-10, but we don't know what the various angles recorded were, so it isn't possible to say if this was one shot of a cluster of 4 or if 4 objects were tracked sequentially. If 4 separate objects were filmed how distinctive was the similarity between these and the object or objects filmed by M-7? Can we guarantee that the "single azimuth reading" from M-7 related to the same object(s)? Maybe only one object was filmed at all from M-7; maybe the math unit were tasked to do the reduction (as per referenced conversation) on the working assumption that the M-7 film showed one of the same group of four filmed at P-10?
 
As Brad says, other unavailable documentation probably fleshes out the context of this brief report. Indeed. I wonder what it would tell us? Bruce says the MRU wouldn't have bothered to do the work at all unless they thought it was valid, which is possibly true, but there seem to be too many dusty corners for this to be called "proof" in my opinion, though I don't deny that it's very intriguing.
 
Martin
PS Yes the date was May - sorry, slip of the finger, mind full of Minot just now! The mean jet latitude would probably have been somewhere over the S of USA - it oscillates between summer and winter extremes of around 25 degsN and 45 degsN respectively I believe, but it shifts around a lot.


From: Brad Sparks
Subject: Re: [SHG] triangulation
To: shg@ns2.txbs.net
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2005 16:20:36 EDT

Martin,

I don't read this that way at all.  The "single reading" comment was not meant as an aspersion on the quality of the reading but as a comment about the lack of getting OTHER STATIONS' readings.  There were several theodolite stations in operation for a missile or bomb test but due to the brevity of the UFO sighting not all of them caught sight of the UFO in time to get a reading or film (some crews might have been reluctant to expend their film on an unknown PRIOR to their assigned mission of the MX-776A Shrike air-to-ground missile test, whereas had the UFO occurred AFTER the test they might have felt free to use all remaining film up on the UFO). 

I interpret the comment about indeterminable but high speed to mean it was not a matter of difficulty in calculation or shakiness in the determination but a flat refusal to believe the number and unwillingness to commit to paper, just like Kenneth Arnold and his initial 1800 mph figure which he cut down again and again to 1200 mph, and regretted making public in the first place.


From: "Martin Shough" <mshough@parcellular.fsnet.co.uk>
To: <shg@ns2.txbs.net>
Subject: Re: [SHG] triangulation
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2005 18:16:28 +0100

Brad
I admit that you could be right. My problem is that I think I could be right too. Whatever my instincts, I just don't know. As long as there's interpretation involved we can't surely invoke this case as "proof" of large high-altitude hypersonic UFOs? I just don't think enough info can be squeezed out of the documents, not enough to take that much weight anyway. But I admit it's a matter of judgement and I probably don't have all the background info on Twinkle that you and Bruce do.
Martin


From: bruce maccabee <brumac@compuserve.com>
Subject: Re: [SHG] triangulation
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2005 14:21:50 -0400

Thanks for the message.  You wrote:
>I admit that you could be right. My problem is that I think I could be
right too. Whatever my instincts, I just don't know. As long as there's
interpretation involved we can't surely invoke this case as "proof" of
large high-altitude hypersonic UFOs? I just don't think enough info can be
squeezed out of the documents, not enough to take that much weight anyway.
But I admit it's a matter of judgement and I probably don't have all the
background info on Twinkle that you and Bruce do.
<

At the very least one can say that the information about the triangulation
was ignored if not intentionally covered up.  I earlier posted the
story of the Project Twinkle report by Eltermann  which cited the dates of
the sightings and said "no information was gained."
As Brad has pointed out, even Ruppelt covered it up.

But why would the White Sands people have even bothered to report the event
to Project Twinkle  (i.e., to Mirarchi) if they hadn't been
sufficiently startled at the sighting to classify it as a sighting of
"things" of interest to Project Twinkle?   (At the time of the sighting
Mirarchi was the project leader; he left the project before the final
report was written).

From: "Martin Shough" <mshough@parcellular.fsnet.co.uk>
To: <shg@ns2.txbs.net>
Subject: Re: [SHG] triangulation
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2005 22:46:08 +0100

Some more devil's advocacy for you:

> At the very least one can say that the information about the
triangulation
> was ignored if not intentionally covered up.  I earlier posted
the
> story of the Project Twinkle report by Eltermann  which cited
the dates of
> the sightings and said "no information was gained."
> As Brad has pointed out, even Ruppelt covered it up.

Elterman's opinion might be just a judgment, mistaken or not,
based on appreciation of some ambiguity in the April 27
triangulation - for which one can argue there is circumstantial
evidence in Mitchell's report, as I suggested. Not sure about
Ruppelt, from memory; must read him again. But if he said there
was only one picture, which was inconclusive (or words to that
effects), then that may be strictly imprecise but wouldn't
materially misrepresent the situation (only one inconclusive
_event_) as now known to have been stated by Elterman at the
time - and as speculatively inferred now (by me). That's to say,
Ruppelt only "covered up" (in this instance - I know he did
elsewhere) if you are right; but if you are wrong then he
substantially reflected the final project director's own report
and din't cover up. Ruppelt's words are not independent evidence
for your case since their interpretation depends on whether your
case is sound or not.

> But why would the White Sands people have even bothered to
report the event
> to Project Twinkle  (i.e., to Mirarchi) if they hadn't been
> sufficiently startled at the sighting to classify it as a
sighting of
> "things" of interest to Project Twinkle?

I suppose the project was seen as Mirarchi's baby and he was
apparently disposed to be optimistic about it. Maybe this was
understood? Maybe Mitchell, and/or those to whom he was directly
answerable and who asked (presumably in the referenced
conversation) that Mitchell report the findings to Lt. Albert,
were keen to have at least one "interesting" result to report to
the Director after all that time? The Apr 27 incident maybe gave
them the chance to do that, provided they were just slightly
economical when it came to acknowledging the ambiguity in the M-7
triangulation datum? I'm speculating I know - can't help it! ;-)

From: Brad Sparks
Subject: Re: [SHG] triangulation
To: shg@ns2.txbs.net
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2005 18:13:38 EDT

You need to re-read my Ruppelt Coverup paper.  I reveal my chance meeting and interview with Mr Black Projects himself, Dr. Frederic "Fritz" Oder, where he tried to pull that "never got anything" crap on me about TWINKLE and I nailed him cold with the April 27, 1950, triangulation (which I recounted for him in detail).  Oder did NOT respond by saying as you would have these officials supposedly believing "Oh you're wrong that was a mistake there never was a triangulation or a reliable one," but instead suddenly Oder got very quiet for a moment.  Then Oder said there might be a real unexplainable phenomenon behind UFO's.  In other words I caught him redhanded and he conceded that the bottom line was that the UFO phenomenon was REAL. 

Ruppelt lied his head off about the White Sands films to the CIA and others, telling the CIA Robertson Panel only "TWO FRAMES of film showing nothing distinguishable" was all that was obtained.  He had the two reports by Mitchell and Bryant in his files at BB, proving otherwise, and he even recounts his extensive efforts to obtain them (both in his book and in Grudge/BB Status Reports), including his talking DIRECTLY to the Holloman AFB personnel about the sightings FIRSTHAND, so he knew what was in them and what the truth was, regardless of official lies in Elterman's report (which he may even have overlooked, no indication he read that one or paid attention to it, it certainly did NOT say "TWO FRAMES" so Ruppelt did NOT get that from Elterman). 

We can prove that Ruppelt also had the Holloman July 1951 report with its prints of many Askania theodolite frames of UFO's at White Sands in 1950, which we know for a fact because he or his staff cut up copies of the report and pasted them into the various White Sands/Holloman incident case files. 

Unmentioned by Bruce for some reason, Oder himself is quoted in the AF documents in 1951 as pushing for Mirarchi's federal prosecution on grounds that Mirarchi had allegedly revealed classified SPEED-ALTITUDE tracking data on UFO's.  That proves that Oder and AFCRL back in 1951 KNEW there was a SUCCESSFUL TRIANGULATION at White Sands, and one so important that they went to the extreme lengths of trying to get Mirarchi thrown in prison in order to maintain the coverup!  (Apparently they were worried that Mirarchi would talk more to the press and reveal the UFO triangulation and so they were trying to intimidate him and shut him up.)