Date: Fri, 11 May 2012 18:45:10 -0400 (EDT)
From: Brad Sparks
Subject: Re: [Current Encounters] Aug. 13, 1965; Baden, Penna. (BBU): MEDCAT

Hi Martin and Mike,

Mike: I don't see where there is azimuth info to show a 32-deg movement through the sky like "~110 deg to ~142 deg in azimuth (i.e., roughly ESE to SE)." The AF report says it moved almost due North, which would be right to left not left to right (ESE to SE).

There are two pages of a kind of sighting blotter and all the times seem to be local (EDT). I think the simple resolution is that while Leonard Chalupiak "then ran into the house and phoned the Air Force" it is very unlikely he got anyone on the line at the other end at the AF Troop Carrier Group in the late evening and had to call back at 1045 (10:45 AM) in the morning the next day.

Moonrise was at about 9:30 PM EDT at 107 degs azimuth (slightly south of due E), 97% full. I used this rise time to anchor a possible sighting time when I prepared this catalog entry.

Just when a simple explanation seems to be settled then something else disrupts it: I notice at the top of the Troop Carrier Group letter a BB handwritten notation reading as best I can tell (highly magnifying the Fold3 image for maximum resolution):

14/0345Z - 0645 [?] Z PITTSBURGH, PA AREA
(Hard to read the "0645" time, everything else is crystal clear and 100% certain readings)

Of course the Chalupiak sighting was not 3 hours long, only 20 secs, so this seems to be a summary of multiple sightings over a 3-hour period.

0345Z of course is 10:45 PM EST or 11:45 PM EDT.

Did BB just assume the "1045" time was the sighting time and that it was 1045 PM EST instead of EDT and then converted it to 0345Z of the next day, not realizing this was the phone report time (if I reconstructed events correctly) in Local Time the next morning???? Or did BB have additional source info to draw upon (perhaps a phone call to the Troop Carrier unit to clarify or get additional details)?

NICAP investigated the Chalupiak case via UFO Research Institute of Pittsburgh and briefly reported on it in the Nov-Dec 1965 UFO Investigator but apparently not again in the UFO Investigator. A fuller report may be available somewhere.

As for why BB concluded it was a "Other (HOAX)" I can see the sloppy logic: The "SUMMARY [of] REPORTING OFFICER" at the Troop Carrier Group seemed by implication to link these sightings with the now-famous Lucci photos which were suspected of being a hoax and soon proven to be (on good prints you can see the boy's arm holding up the model with the spaceship "exhaust" being the "V" shape of the thumb-and-hand lit up by flashlight).


-----Original Message-----
Date: Fri, 11 May 2012 11:17:04 -0700
From: Michael Tarbell <>
Subject: Re: [Current Encounters] Aug. 13, 1965; Baden, Penna. (BBU):
Message-ID: <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"; Format="flowed"

I agree that mixing 12 and 24-hour clock formats would be an unusual 
error in military correspondence. I would similarly not expect to see 
reference to Zulu time without a "Z" appended to the hour-minute string, 
at least for the first instance, if not throughout the document. For 
what it's worth, I would tend to suspect a 12/24 mix-up.

Assuming the quoted size (300 ft diameter), range (one-half mile), 
altitude (300 ft), speed (50 mph), and duration (20 sec) are accurate 
and taken literally (although it's not clear at all how the witness was 
able to determine these), there are some additional features of the 
sighting that can be deduced:

(1) The object was ~13 times the angular diameter of the full moon, 
roughly equivalent to a tennis ball at arm's length;

(2) The object obscured the moon for approximately four seconds 
(assuming a centered transit);

(3) The object traversed an angle of ~32 deg in the course of the 
sighting, from ~110 deg to ~142 deg in azimuth (i.e., roughly ESE to SE);

(4) The moon was ~6.5 degrees from horizontal (implying that, even in 
very flat terrain, the moon had risen substantially less than 1 hour 
before the sighting);

The witness comment (or at least the phrase in the report) about the 
blue light coming on "as the UFO moved away" is perhaps a little odd, 
given (3) above. The object was traveling roughly perpendicular to the 
witness line of sight, and traversed a small region of the sky during 
the sighting. The change in the apparent angular diameter of the object 
would have been negligible, i.e., it would not appear to be either 
coming or going.


On 5/11/2012 6:57 AM, Martin Shough wrote:
> The times are a bit confusing in this one.
> As you point out, the moon would rise in the ESE about 2130 EDT, or 
> 0230 Z (and it was indeed almost full).
> The file says that immediately after sighting the object crossing the 
> full moon the witness "ran into the house and phoned the Air Force", 
> that this report was received by the AF at 1045, and that he was 
> "contacted by the Inspecting Officer once again at 1745 hours", by 
> which time his vision had deteriorated and he had been seen by a 
> doctor. If both those times given in the file are 24hr local clock 
> times then the sighting would be in broad daylight with no moon in the 
> sky.
> I think you are guessing that the stated reporting time is 10:45 PM - 
> in which case the file confuses 12hr and 24hr clock times, and the 
> Inspecting Officer contacted the witness not on the same day but on 
> the afternoon of the next day.  Mixing 12 and 24 hr clock times in a 
> military document seems unlikely to me.  It could happen, by accident, 
> but then the sighting time would not be 9:30PM as this would be more 
> than an hour before the report was made, whereas the witness "ran into 
> the house" to call the AF right after the 20-second sighting, so 
> 10:30PM would be closer.
> But another possibility is that both times are Zulu times. In this 
> case the moon would have been in the sky at 1030 Z (0530 EDT) about 17 
> deg up in the SW, making this an early morning sighting before dawn 
> (sun still about 11 deg below the horizon), with the Inspecting 
> Officer reverting to the witness at lunch time the next day. That 
> makes some sense to me, although putting Z times on local reports in a 
> document of that type also seems odd.
> What do you think?
> The absence of proper investigation reports here is criminal. The 
> local AF people talked to the witness and to the examining doctor who 
> apparently confirmed "arc welding"-type skin burns plus "vision drop 
> in one eye and a slight hemorrhage [sic] in the other eye which is 
> rather hard to explain". Nothing indicates local suspicion about the 
> witness's character or motives. I can see no reasoning offered by BB 
> to justify dismissing this as "HOAX" without even attempting to get 
> full AFR 200-2 reports.
> Martin
> -----Original Message-----
> From: francis ridge
> Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2012 3:55 PM
> To:
> Subject: [Current Encounters] Aug. 13, 1965; Baden, Penna. (BBU): PSYCAT
> Aug. 13, 1965; Baden, Penna. (BBU)
> 9:30 p.m.[?] 37? year-old civilian had just put
> his car in the garage when he saw an disk-shaped
> object about 300 ft in diameter, fly in front of
> the moon (which rose in the E about 9:30 p.m. EDT
> at 107? azimuth) on a N heading at about 50 mph
> about 2,300 ft away, surrounded with orange
> lights that weakened as a blue source came on,
> very intense for about 3 secs. Then all lights
> disappeared and a sort of "shock? wave" effect
> shaking tree leaves ensued. Witness entered his
> house and called the USAF, 20 mins later his
> vision became hazy, eyes painful, gradually
> losing vision in both eyes, and his entire body
> was "sunburned." Medical exam compared symptoms
> to UV exposure. Vision came back gradually over
> several days. (Vall?e Magonia 677)
> has been added to MEDCAT.
> Fran