From: "Martin Shough" <>
Date: Sat, 25 Feb 2012 14:36:48 -0000
Subject: August 12, 1965; Springfield, Ohio (BB) : AVCAT

I suppose it hardly needs saying, but this is a total BB cock-up.

First, someone has checked the sun position for 1115 (1615 GMT) and written it down wrong, or someone has read it wrong, and it's gone into the file as 235 deg (although someone has made a handwritten note querying this). In fact it was about *135* deg.

But having got the wrong azimuth, someone has then noticed that 235 deg is roughly opposite the azimuth of the object in the NE and supposed that this is significant. A half-baked idea then formed in said persons excuse for a brain:

What if the sunlight reflected off the observer's T-29B and bounced off towards the NE, then it might reflect off something else over there in the NE and create a bright UFO. Hmm, what was there that the sun might reflect from? Aha, the report describes looking through a thick haze, that must be it then! And voila, our analyst has his finished explanation:

Sunlight specularly reflected off the plane like a mirror, then specularly reflected back off the haze like another mirror, creating a bright UFO, whose apparent motion was only a reflection of the motion of the T-29B. Well, ok, the T-29B was headed Northwest and the UFO reflection was headed East, i.e. moving clockwise backwards relative to the motion of the plane, not tracking the heading of the plane as a reflection would. And it was only bright when intermittently ascending, appearing as a "grey object" the rest of the time. And haze can't reflect specularly anyway. But these are just details, right? And in any case, there is one final coup de grace which fudges over any possible problems:

It was not just a specular reflection off some haze, it was a MIRAGE of a specular reflection off some haze - yes folks, a scientifically-impossible, never-before-contemplated *laterally moving* (in the wrong direction) mirage image - a mirage image of a secondary reflection on some haze, of a primary reflection from an aicraft, from a sun that was not even in the "right" part of the sky. Job done. Next?

Really, the degree of ignorance and incompetence shown here is truly mind-boggling.

Martin Shough