Form: 97 BB
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2006 23:29:34 +0100 (BST)
From: daniel wilson <>
Subject: Letter from Office of Naval Research, Pasadena Branch to Chief of Naval Research
Cat: 10
To: Fran Ridge <>
Letter from Office of Naval Research, Pasadena Branch to Chief of Naval Research. Subject: Details on old report of unusual phenomena
Concerning erratic equipment behavior at Palomar
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 discover additional 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 recurring again.  

"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 further reports...."

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 1949, etc.

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 forgotten. 

"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 below).  

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 reaction. 

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 [again]."

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 outlet."  

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 radiation level.  

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 radiation. 

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, etc. 



On 2/29/2016 6:01 PM, wrote:

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):


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 approx.

Jan 1950 multiple, with one with UFO’s sighted (Bruce H. Rule Palomar Staff Engineer per J. Fred Kalbach to McDonald, Jan 1, 1970)

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. Carter
Oct 2 1401-1402 MST W. W. Carter
Oct 4 2305 MST W. W. Carter (no record kept / missing record?)
Oct 9 0858 MST W. W. Carter

Nov 29 1900 hrs Alpha & gamma ray increase with unidentified radar targets in same location of Oak Ridge Labs

May 25 0124 MDT Gittings
(May 25 0958 MDT radar not radiation)
(May 25 2330 ? same as 0124 radiation excursion?)
Aug 26 1442 MDT
Aug 28 0717 MDT Gittings