Form: Research Report
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2009 22:01:40 -0500
From: Michael Swords
Subject: Loren Gross writings (publications) on Bethune case
To: A-Team

Loren Gross' 1951 Book:

Atlantic aerial anomaly.

Testimony of Lt. Fred W. Kingdon, Jr., U.S. Navy:

"At 0055Z on 10 February 1951, while serving as second Plane Commander on above flight. I was an eye witness to an unusual sighting of an unidentified flying object.  This occurrence took place at approximately 49-50 N and 50-03 W, which is approximately 200 miles northeast of Argentia, Newfoundland.  We were at 10,000 feet altitude cruising on a true course of about 230 degrees at the time of the incident.

"At time of sighting, I was occupying the right hand (co-pilot's) seat and left hand (pilot's) seat was occupied by Lt. G. E. Bethune.

"My attention was first called to the occurrence by Mr. Bethune, who asked me to look at an unusual light which was to my right.  I then saw that there was a glowing light beneath a thin layer of strato-form clouds beneath us. This was to my right and down at an angle of about 45 degrees.  This object appeared to lie on the surface and was throwing a yellowish-orange glare through the cloud deck.  It appeared to be very large and I at first thought that it could be a large ship completely illuminated.

"Mr. Bethune and I watched the object for several minutes in trying to determine its nature.  We then called our navigator, Lt. N. J. P. Koger to the cockpit to scrutinize the object and render his opinion as to its nature.

"While further observing the object, I saw that it suddenly started ascending through the cloud layer and it then became quite bright. The object was very large and was circular with a glowing yellow-orange ring around its outer edge.  This object appeared to be climbing and moving at a tremendous speed, and it appeared to be on a more or less collision course with our aircraft.  When it appeared that there was a possibility of collision the object appeared to make a 180 degree turn and disappeared over the horizon at a terrific speed.  During the course of events, LTJG A. L. Jones had come to the cockpit and he made a turn in the direction of the object but it went out of sight in a short period of time.

"Due to the fact that this object was seen over water at night it would be most difficult for me to estimate speed, size, or distance we were from it during the course of events.  However, the speed was tremendous and the size was at least 200 to 300 feet in diameter.  The object was close enough to see and observe it clearly (24)

LTJG A. L. Jones, U.S. Navy, was aft when the phenomenon was first seen.  Lt. Koger alerted him and others that something strange was visible to the pilots forward.  Lt. Jones went to the cockpit and witnessed the object's departure:

"My first view of it resembled a huge fiery orange disc on its edge.  As it went further away, the center became darker, but the edge still threw off a fiery hue.  When it went over the horizon, it seemed to go from a vertical position to a horizontal position, with only the trailing edge showing in a half-moon-effect." (25)

(Source: Project Blue Book)

When their plane landed at Argentia, the Navy men were interrogated by Captain D. H. Paulsen, USAF, of Pepperell Air Force Base, and Navy Commander Wehmeyer, C.O., VP-8, Argentia.  One of the Navy men later said of this questioning:

"The types of questions they asked us were like Henry Ford asking about the Model T.  You got the feeling that they were putting words in your mouth.  It was obvious that there had been many sightings in the same area, and most of the observers did not let the cat out of the bag openly.  When we arrived in the United States, we had to make a full report to Navy Intelligence.

"I found out a few months later that Gander radar did track the object in excess of 1800 mph."

(Source: NICAP)

The proposed solution to this case as carried in official files went:

" was concluded that while there is a possibility of the object being a meteor or a fireball, the description furnished gives reason to believe that the aircrew actually saw an unusual 'northern lights' display." (27)

This evaluation was made on February 20, 1951, in a document signed by Lt. Colonel Kent Parrot, although a message from J. J. Rodgers of MCIAXA states that the origin of the forementioned solution was someone else's and the supposed answer not as firm as the official record makes it appear.. (28)

(Blue Book)

Loren Gross' 1951 Supplement

North Atlantic. Top Secret.
According to our source, officials in Iceland were alarmed by numerous aerial intruders in their region during the year 1950.   The performance characteristics of these strange intruders made these violations of NATO air space a problem of great concern.   Attempts to intercept and identify the intruders were conducted without satisfactory results.   Icelandic authorities were profoundly puzzled and upset by what they could only assume were incursions of Russian long range aircraft of an advanced design. Reports reaching the Icelandic government indicated that the amazing "Communist experimental craft" were even being sighted off the Canadian coast, far to the West.

In February, 1951, in response to a request by its NATO ally, the United States authorized a build-up of the American military presence in Iceland.   Among those chosen to do some secret preliminary liaison on logistics were Senior pilot Lt. Albert Jones and a Lt. Fred Kingdon of the U.S. Navy. Both were experts in the planning of military transport operations.

Officers Jones and Kingdon toured Icelandic air facilities and attended a series of meetings with local management personnel who would assist in the processing of the men and equipment due to arrived from the U.S.   Included in the meetings were representatives of Lockheed Overseas, Inc., the company that held the contract to operate  Keflavik airport.   It was during these logistic discussions that Jones and Kingdon were made aware of the "mystery intruders." Neither American had been briefed on the subject by U.S. Intelligence probably because they had no need to know.   Only later did they have good reason to believe the "aerial intruders" subject was "Top Secret." (xx.)

(xx.)    "Bethune Report." Interview of Graham Bethune by Bob Durant. Date: March 1998. "Meetings in Iceland." pp. 19-20.   Copy in author's files.

'For U.S. military air transport, Iceland was an important part of the northern air route to Europe.   Aircraft of the U.S. Navy's Logistic Air Wings took off from Argentia, Newfoundland and made one stop at Keflavik for refueling, and then they continued on to London.   The southern air route out of Argentia terminated at Port Lyautey, Morroco, with a refueling stop at Lajes Azores. There have been UFO sightings at both Argentia and Port Lyautey over the years that have been publicly reported. A look at the map makes one wonder what interest anyone would have in either place except aside from the airfields.   The same goes for Goose Bay, Labrador, another international airport in the region.   (See letter from a John Burton on page 13)

10 February 1951

Mid Atlantic encounter.

Completing their assignment in Iceland, lieutenants Jones and Kingdon joined the crew of a Navy R5D transport for a flight back to Argentia.   Piloting the plane was Graham Bethune. The Co-pilot was Lt. Kingdon. Also in the cabin were Lt. Albert Jones and a Lt. John Meyer. There were 31 passengers.   The moon could still be seen, slowly sinking below a clearly defined horizon as the Navy plane passed the southern tip of Greenland.   Visibility was excellent. (See Lt. Kingdon's account of what happened next in my 1951 UFO history monograph under the heading "Atlantic aerial anomaly.")

Third week in May 1951

Navy Intelligence visits pilot Graham Bethune (according to Bethune).

It had been three months since Lt. Bethune's encounter with a UFO while piloting a Navy transport on a North Atlantic air route.   The third week in May a young man dressed in a suit and tie knocked on Bethune's door (Since Bethune was married, he lived off base). The individual in civilian cloths flashed some credentials and announced he was from U.S. Navy Intelligence. The Navy agent wanted to discuss Bethune's UFO experience. Bethune agreed to be interviewed

As Bethune related the UFO incident, the Navy agent took many notes and checked through a binder containing UFO photos.   The pages also had some text and listed the dimensions of the UFOs pictured.

Curious, Bethune inquired about the fate of the information he was supplying.   The Navy agent reportedly said the case would be reviewed by a committee which would determine its "national security impact."  If no "impact" was determined, the data would be filed with "normal" UFO reports.   Nothing was mentioned about what happened to the "impact" cases, (xx.)

(xx.)    "Bethune Report." By Bob Durant.   22 October 98. p.21.   Copy in author's files.

One should recall that airline pilot Robert Manning, who had a UFO encounter on April 27, 1950, was also visited three months after his experience. A man "representing himself as an Air Force General" (Manning's words) approached Capt. Manning. It is assumed the words "representing himself implied the man was in civilian dress.   The man discussed the UFO case and also showed Manning some UFO file photos,   (xx.)

(xx.) Letter: To: Robert F. Manning, 3230 Merrill Drive, Torrance, California.   From: Dr. James McDonald.   11 January 68. University of Arizona at Tucson, Tucson, Arizona. Dr. James McDonald papers. Special Collections Department.

Oddest part of the Navy agent's visit to Bethune.

Just before leaving, the Navy agent gave Bethune a copy of the October 1950 issue of Pageant magazine which contained the Frank Scully crashed saucer story. The agent was supposed to have said: "I think you will find this interesting."  (xx.)

(xx.)    "Bethune Report." By Bob Durant. 22 October 98: p.21.