Eastlake UFO Reported by Coast Guaerd
March 4, 1988

This thread has been archived and posted for security reasons and was obtained from the URL listed below:

     The Easlake UFO case (LAKRIEn.UFO) has generated a great
 deal of debate and controversy here in the Cleveland area. 
 The following are downloaded bulletins from FREENET a large,
 free, local BBS in the Cleveland, Ohio area.  These messages
 are from the Skepticism SIG. Anyone interested in participating
 can do so at (216)368-3888:

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Date: Thu Apr  7 20:52:04 1988
From: RICHARD P. DELL'AQUILA (ab114)
Subj: EASTLAKE UFO REPORTED BY COAST GUARD

        In a reply to a recent question from Dale Wedge, Page 
Stevens has mentioned that an unusual UFO event occurring over 
Lake Erie in early March was the result of a misidentification 
of the planets Jupiter and Venus which appeared close to each 
other in the night sky.  Page mentioned that a Coast Guard 
report on the incident "agrees fully" with the Venus/Jupiter 
hypothesis.  The report has been submitted to an astronomer for 
his expert opinion as to whether the Venus/Jupiter hypothesis 
adequately explains all the phenomena described in the report 
by the Coast Guard personnel, also reported by at least a half 
dozen other independent witnesses.
       The sightings, which have continued unabated for the 
past month, have been reported by several independent 
witnesses, one of whom took photographs. The case is being 
investigated by Rick Dell'Aquila (ab114) and Dale Wedge (ae511)
       The document confirms that members of the Coast Guard 
saw a group of strange objects cavorting on and near the icy 
surface of Lake Erie. A local astronomer attempted to explain 
the sightings as resulting from the apparent conjunction of 
Jupiter and Venus in the night sky, coupled with "spontaneous 
gas emissions" caused by viewing the conjunction through the 
Earth's atmosphere.
       The incident involves a large blimp-like object, "larger 
than the Goodyear blimp," which released up to a half dozen  
triangular-shaped lights and objects, in close proximity to the 
Perry nuclear power plant and Eastlake coal burning plant, and 
multiple independent witnesses, apparent animal reactions, as 
well as government documents, and hence qualifies for high-
priority.
       The case is officially classified as a Close Encounter 
of the Second Kind.
       
The Coast Guard report reads as follows:


COG:          INFO                                       COPIES


CPCD THE SAME ACTIVITY. THEY 
WATCHED THE OBJECTS FOR APPROX. 1 HOUR BEFORE RPTNG THAT THE 
LARGE OBJECT WAS ALMOST ON THE ICE. THEY RPTD THAT THE ICE WAS 
CRACKING AND MOVING ABNORMAL AMOUNTS AS THE OBJECT CAME CLOSER 
TO IT. THE ICE WAS RUMBLING AND THE OBJECT LIT MULTI-COLOR 
LIGHTS AT EACH END AS IT APPARENTLY LANDED. THE ;LIGHTS ON IT 
WENT OUT MOMENTARILY AND THEN CAME ON AGAIN. THEY WENT OUT 
AGAIN AND THE RUMBLING STOPPED AND THE ICE STOPPED MOVING. THE 
SMALLER OBJECTS BEGAN HOVERING IN THE AREA WHERE THE LARGE 
OBJECT LANDED AND AFTER A FEW MINUTES THEY BEGAN FLYING AROUND 
AGAIN. MOBILE 02 RPTD THAT THEY APPEARED TO BE SCOUTING THE 
AREA. MOBILE 02 RPTD THAT 1 OBJECT WAS MOVING TOWARD THEM AT A 
HIGH SPEED AND LOW TO THE ICE. MOBILE 02 BACKED DOWN THE HILL 
THEY HAD BEEN ON AND WHEN THEY WENT BACK TO THE HILL, THE 
OBJECT WAS GONE. THEY RPTD THAT THE OBJECTS COULD NOT BE SEEN 
IF THEY TURNED OFF THERE LIGHTS. ONE OF THE SMALL OBJECTS 
TURNED ON A SPOTLIGHT WHERE THE LARGE OBJECT HAD BEEN BUT 
MOBILE 02 COULD NOT SEE ANYTHING, AND THEN THE OBJECT SEEMED TO 
DISAPPEAR. ANOTHER OBJECT APPROACHED MOBILE 02 APPROX. 500 YDS. 
OFFSHORE ABOUT 20 FT. ABOVE THE ICE, AND IT BEGAN MOVING CLOSER 
AS MOBILE 02 BEGAN FLASHING ITS HEADLIGHTS, THEN IT MOVED OFF 
TO THE WEST.
3. THE CREWMEMBERS WERE UNABLE TO IDENTIFY ANY OF THE OBJECTS 
pher William James commented as follows 
on the views of contemporary "skeptics" among his Harvard 
colleagues.  His comments remain pertinent:

     "There is included in human nature an ingrained naturalism 
and materialism of mind which can only admit facts that are 
tangible.  Of this sort of mind the entity called "Science" is 
the idol.  Fondness for the word "scientist" is one of the notes 
by which you may know its votaries; and its short way of killing 
any opinion that it disbelieves in is to call it "unscientific." 
It must be granted that there is no slight excuse for this.  
Science has  made such glorious leaps in the last 300 
years...that it is no wonder if the worshippers of Science lose 
their heads.  In this very University, accordingly, I have heard 
more than one teacher say that all the fundamental conceptions 
of truth have already found by Science, and that the future has 
only the details of the picture to fill in.  But the slightest 
reflection on the real conditions will suffice to show how 
barbaric such notions are.  They show such a lack of scientific 
imagination that it is hard to see how one who is actively 
advancing any part of Science can make a statement so crude.  
Think how many absolutely new scientific conceptions have arisen 
in our generation, how many new problems have been formulated 
TV stations,the astronomy dept. at CWRU,etc. to report
these objects as UFOs.
    In an April 7 listing on this bulletin board,Rick Dell'Aquila
gives the text of a U.S.Coast Guard report (dated March 4) which
he suggests can not be explained as resulting from a misidentifi-
cation of these planets.Although it contains an account of multi-
colored,noctural lights cavorting about and landing on the Lake
Erie ice,this report is devoid of the most important observation-
al details which one expects from highly trained observers.What
was their exact location at the time of these observations?Given
that location,what were the approximate azimuth and altitude of
these lights? Since the shoreline at Fairport Harbor runs almost
NE-SW,saying that the lights are out over the lake means that
they could lie anywhere from SW to NE as seen from near the
lakeshore.
    Given this lack of detail,it is rather suggestive that the
CG people observed the bright light to "land" on the ice at
about the same time that Venus set i.e. went below the horizon
that evening.Nowhere in the report do the CG people say that   
they saw the UFOs in addition to Venus and Jupiter i.e. if
this display took place low in the western sky,one might expect
them to have compared the brightness and positions of the UFOs
relative to these planets.It Jupiter were in
the western portion of the sky that evening.  After the sight-
ing, Dell'Aquila and Wedge went out to the sight and did sight
these planets in the western sky.  We even took some calcu-
latiions as to the location of the planets at the times that
witnesses were seeing the objects over the lake.  From
our determination, we can state that the objects that were seen
over the Lake were not Venus and Jupiter.  The witnesses that
evening knew where the planets were.  The subject who reported
the objects was travelling EAST and was facing east when the
objects were seen to her left, the northern portion of the 
sky, near the residence.  

In regards to the Coast Guard, Mr. Sanduleak must only be 
reading the report of the second evening.  It would seem that 
anyone being involved in the Coast Guard would have a basic
knowledge of the skies above us, since it is a tool that they
use to navigate the seas.  I would also doubt that Coast
Guard personnel would mistake Venus and Jupiter as the culprit
being behind objects being seen  to be approximately 500 yards
offshore about 20 feet above the ice.  I have never known the
planets to do this.  If you go to the sight of the incident,
there is no west to look at on the ice, since it is obscured
by the Eastlake Coal Buture fits
the description made by the witnesses at the scene of the
encounter.
Lastly, because we ensure secrecy of witnesses, it is
unfortunate that the Coast Guard will not allow us to inter-
view the Coast Guard personnel that were at the scene that
evening.  Who has something to hide?  Is it Sanduleak that is
frightened of a real incident or is the Coast Guard frightened
that they have given the smoking gun that could open up the
paper trail on a real phenomenon?
Dale

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Date: Mon Apr 11 21:47:08 1988
From: RICHARD P. DELL'AQUILA (ab114)
Subj: TO THE ASTRONOMERS RE: EASTLAKE UFO

       AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PROFESSIONAL SKEPTICS, RE: UFO SIGHTING 
OVER LAKE ERIE OVER THE WEEKEND OF MARCH 4, 1988

       It is understandable that a professional in any occupation 
will have a reputation to preserve among his or her peers, and that 
the desire to maintain that professional reputation will sometimes 
require the professional to defend indefensable positions (e.g. 
"C.Y.A.") from which he cannot otherwise extricate himself.  It's 
okay guys, I understand.  You put out the Venus/Jupiter hypothesis 
before the Coast Guard report was released and now you are stuck with 
it for better or worse.  I suspect that, being the professionals you 
arein a civil manner. I suppose yours is at least a more 
straightforward approach than that taken by the sysop of another 
Freenet SIG who, after inviting UFO discussion, has elected to erase 
all UFO uploads from his SIG and who, when all else fails, resorts to 
name-calling as a rhetorical device.  Well, taking your toys home 
when you lose the game is a rather immature way to deal with 
confrontation. Doctor, take an example from the skeptics on this SIG, 
bravely sticking to their guns--going down with their ship, flags 
waving--but proudly, stubbornly, sticking to their guns to the bitter 
end. "Solution: Venus/Jupiter" period.
       Guys: You are the experts.  People look to you for answers.  
If you teach, your students rely on you for accuracy.  When you 
publish, other experts rely on your objectivity and clarity of 
analysis. Yet you ask us to accept the Venus/Jupiter hypothesis 
primarily because you have put it forward as the "truth."  Now that 
the professional skeptics have made their final pronouncement, I 
trust you will permit me to raise a few minor details, tie up some 
loose ends and send along you ways to comfortably bury our heads back 
in the sand again until the next time the planets start releasing 
strobing multi-colort your hypothesis 
and ignoring the "meaningless residue"  for purposes of clarity. 
However, the a priori assumption with which you approach this 
particular subject (i.e. "UFOs do not represent any phenomena which 
cannot be explained in prosaic terms.") renders your resulting 
opinions on the matter largely irrelevant. Although your credentials 
as Skeptics remain firmly intact, be honest enough to admit you 
cannot adequately explain ALL aspects of the sighting. Don't push 
sophistry. 
       I respectfully suggest that the Venus/Jupiter hypothesis is a 
professional embarassment to you, since it completely ignores the 
observed phenomena and fails to explain how the Coast Guard personnel 
could have been so grossly fooled by known celestial objects.  Guys, 
it's okay to admit you just "don't know" what was over Lake Erie that 
night.  That diploma over your desk doesn't make you a vending 
machine--you don't have to dispense a Pepsi every time someone drops 
in their change and pulls your handle.

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Date: Tue Apr 12 10:42:09 1988
From: NEIL GOULD (aa330)
Subj: Re: Eastlake UFO report - Neil

 
Well, I personally find the report of the sighting from the 
Coast Guard to be rather interesting.  As has beeway to repeat the event, 
conclusions will be hard to come by.  
Perhaps that is the real reason there isn't a lot of chatter 
about these things? 

- Neil
 
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Date: Tue Apr 12 11:42:08 1988
From: RICHARD P. DELL'AQUILA (ab114)
Subj: Neil Hits the Mark--RPD

COPY OF LETTER TO DR. LAMBE

Since Dr. Lambe, moderator of the SF Reviewers' SIG has seen fit 
to delete all reference to UFOs from his board, I am uploading 
this copy of the beginning portion of a rather lengthy upload to 
the SF OPEN Forum Board. (Apparently Dr. Lambe has concluded 
that his OPEN Forum was to be closed to matters pertaining to 
Ufology.  Thankfully, Page has not come to a similar conclusion.

      Dear Dr. Lambe:

      Thank you for your letter concerning your opinions on 
UFOs, but I believe you are operating under a misperception. 
I do not presume to know what UFOs ARE, because I really don't 
know; but the evidence does establish beyond a reasonable doubt 
that they are not ALL misperceptions or hoaxes.  Indeed, the 
reports that stem from IDENTIFIABLE sources do not, obviously, 
fit the definition of an UNIDENTIFIED Flying Object.  
      UFOs have been reported by entirely competent witnesses 
whose sightings have been corroborated byve arisen in our generation...Is this credible 
that such a mushroom of knowledge, such a growth overnight as 
this, CAN represent more than the minutest glimpse of what the 
universe will really prove to be when adequately understood? NO! 
Our Science is but a drop, our ignorance a sea..."
      Almost a century later, James has been fully vindicated by 
discoverys such as relativity, quantum mechanics, and associated 
new concepts that overturned the previous scintific "truths."  
Our scientific knowledge continues to grow exponentially. 
     The focus of your reply seems to be that UFOs do not exist 
as such, but your opinion is based on a false assumption.  The 
issue of UFO existence cannot be dismissed on the basis of any 
such a priori assumption, but must be premised upon 
investigation.  The evidence to date indicates that UFOs are 
phenomena not completely understood by our present Science, but 
which fall into one or several of the following categories:

     1.  Undiscovered space/time distortions or manipulations
         that conform to the laws of physics, but require
         extraordinary explanations;
     2.  Undiscovered space/time distortions or manipulations
         that conform to undiscovered laws of physics;
     3.  Nonphysical products of individual or group mental 
         action, conforming to known and unknown psychological
         principles, or
     4.  Something other than e person because I know you
are able to interpret the data even though we might come to different
conclusions.

I was therefore disappointed by the upload in which you made ad
hominem attacks on both Nick Sanduleak and myself because I think
they were unwarranted.

All either Nick or I ask is that everyone look at the evidence and
make their own decision about what it says.
Neither of us, unless you consider all scientists to be skeptics
is a "professional skeptic," and indeed I don't know what that term
might mean because as far as I am concerned a "professional" is a person
who makes his living by doing what he does, and I don't know of any
skeptic who does this. Even James Randi, although he also makes
some money from his skeptical lectures, is basically a professional
entertainer.
In Nick and my own case I doubt if either of us has made a total of
$200.00 in the past five years by lecturing on skeptical topics, and while
Phil Klass has published a few books on the subject of UFOs I doubt
if he has been paid any more than a few cents on the hour for the work
he has done.
I suspect the reason Nick, Randi, Phil, Paul Kurtz and myself spend
our time investigating claims of the paranormal is similar to the
reason you spend your free time investigating UFOs, because we want to
discover what is really going on even though for our efforI also resent your
statement that scientists are afraid to express their true 
opinions in public, and are not willing to examine ALL the
reported phenomena and express their true opinions. 

        It is obvious that you don't understand the nature of 
science at all when you state that we put forward a hypothesis
as "truth." A hypothesis is an educated guess based upon the
observations. It is something we throw out to be tested for   
validity. Hypotheses that are not tested or hypotheses that can
not be tested are no good at all. We keep a very open mind when
we test our hypotheses, in fact, the way we go about testing 
our hypotheses is to do everything we can think of to prove them
false! It is only after everyone who wants to has tried to 
prove it false that we say that a hypothesis has any validity.
        You are forgetting about the psychological nature of
human beings when you say that the Venus/Jupiter hypothesis
completely ignores the observed phenomena and fails to explain
how the Coast Guard personnel could have been so grossly fooled
by known celestial objects. People can be fooled by a lot less
than celestial objects. Let me tell you my own true experience
with a UFO. Last September I was driving down Bagley road in 
the afternoon during a rain the firewords and realized that what I had
ks and realized that what I had
realy seen was fireworks exploding against the dark cloud.
        If I had not turned into the park and seen the 
fireworks, I would have always believed that I had seen a real
UFO and no one would have been able to change my mind with
mere reason and logic. Don't you think that there is a
possibility at least that the Coast Guard personnel may 
have had a similar experience to mine?

        Please try and keep an open mind about these things.
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Date: Thu Apr 14 18:10:11 1988
From: KEN KOPIN (ac077)
Subj: UFO's

  I would like to bring up a point
for discussion. Now, if I make
any errors in assumptions, or
facts, PLEASE jump on them! I wish
to be accurate...

  There are probably lots and lots
of reported UFO sightings in the
USA every year. There are also 
a bunch of satalights up there that
do nothing but look down at us,
looking for, well, whatever...

  Now, wouldn't you think that the
Govt would occasionally be looking
at an area at the same time a

UFO was sighted? If so, then why not
either coroborate (SP!) or shoot-down
the UFO sighting? (Not the UFO!)

  Either, the govt already knows what
it is (Secret plane, Aliens, whatever)
and doesn't really want to talk
about it, or... What?

                  <*> Ken Kopin <*>


--------- several days, we have been concentrating on 
our disagreements concerning the Eastlake UFO case.  I would now 
like to direct the focus of the debate to those aspects of the 
case on which we can find some agreement.
               1.  The report of the Coast Guard was made by on-
       duty personnel dispatched to the sighting area.  It can 
       be presumed that these are competent individuals without 
       apparent motive to falsify a report that would cause them 
       embarassment or worse.
               2.  The report, taken at face value, contains 
       features which suggest something other than a 
       conventional aircraft or meteorological/astronomical 
       origin for the report.
               3.  Positions have been advanced by the 
       scientific "experts" which do not adequately address ALL 
       the features of the report, when taken at face value.
               4.  The primary Coast Guard report is supported 
       by civilian reports of the phenomena observed within the 
       same time-frame on the same night by witnesses who did 
       not and do not know each other and who were separated by 
       several miles from each other at the time of observation.
               5.  These reports are also supported by 
       photographic evidence.
thing unknown.  Significantly, at no time did 
the Coast Guard personnel believe they were watching a star or 
planet of some sort, although this argument was much later 
advanced as the solution.  The Coast Guard personnel refused to 
speculate further with regard to the true nature of the UFOs 
they observed that night.  They were frightened and behaved in a 
defensive manner, hardly a reasonbable response to ordinary 
astronomical objects.
       Our legal system is premised upon the assumption that, 
within certain restrictions, human observation and testimony can 
be regarded as factual. Certain well-established rules exist to 
test the credibility of witnesses and their testimony.  Among 
these are reputation, motivation, consistency with other 
established facts, recency, multiplicity and independence of 
witnesses, multiple methods of observation, etc.  Applying these 
tests to the Eastlake UFO case, the case stands up better than 
many cases which have been won in courts of law across this 
country.
       Scientists are human too.  They have been wrong before 
and they will be wrong again.  The responses to the results of 
our investigation which Dale and I have received from the 
"experts" on this board go beyond mere sympathy for the 
ignorant. Ratheitioner resists challenges to his 
religious beliefs.  
       This resistance can take the form of avoidance or denial 
of evidence inconsistent with the established belief system or 
illogical arguments advanced by scientists who may be otherwise 
objective and analytically precise in their professional 
opinions.  A prime example on Freenet of the first approach, is 
the regrettable avoidance response of Dr. Lambe, who has seen 
fit to simply delete all reference to UFOs from the Science 
Fiction SIG OPEN Forum after inviting UFO debate.  An example of 
the second response is the illogical Venus/Jupiter hypothesis 
pronounced by the others as the final solution to the UFO 
reported over Lake Erie the weekend of March 4, 1988. 
       Another typical response to challenges to an established 
belief system is to ridicule those who challenge the beliefs 
held (e.g. "These 'wackos' have made a foolish error in 
observation, or are suffering from a delusion or illusion of 
some sort").  If the physical scientists are correct that the 
basis of the reports is in the observers, rather than anything 
physically observed, then the internal consistency of the 
independently witnessed observations with regard to the Eastlake 
UFO case requires that the behavioral scientists reconsider the 
validity of their own nternally consistent, across the 
testimony of several independent witnesses, geographically 
separated from each other and further supported by photographic 
evidence, that it is virtually impossible that it is premised 
upon any random delusion, illusion or hoax.  It remains that the 
observed phenomena were indeed a manifestation of physical 
stimuli, as reported by the witnesses.  We therefore can only 
conclude that the Skeptics and physical scientists are incorrect 
in their assessment of this case.
       The status of our knowledge of UFOs to date, typified by 
the Eastlake case, establishes that UFOs indeed constitute 
genuinely new empirical observation(s) which physical science 
cannot or will not adequately confront.  This failure to fairly 
confront the evidence is due to the fact that serious scientific 
examination of the observed phenomena implicitly requires that 
established scientific belief systems must be reconsidered and 
possibly altered (dread) to provide basic new explanations, 
concepts and scientific laws capable of explaining UFOs.  This 
is analagous to asking the Pope to convert to Atheism.

                                  Rick
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