Date: Thu, 2 Jan 2003  2:32:54 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: Brad Sparks
Subj:  PLEASE POST  Re: The Ryan Case, 1956
Cat: 11

Brad Sparks:
I am afraid there is a serious reading comprehension problem here.  I clearly wrote that the airliner was NOT told to change course, but MAINTAIN COURSE because the UFO was straight in front of it and needed no "DEVIATION" to pursue it.  (Also a pursuit of VENUS would have required about a 20-25-degree DEVIATION to the right or roughly NW.  No such course change occurred and now even more evidence of that fact is supplied.)

I said that Griffiss AFB reportedly ordered Capt Ryan to pursue the UFO by MAINTAINING its heading which was straight towards the UFO.  Obviously the UFO was aware of the airliner's presence and was intentionally staying directly in front of the airliner ON THE AIRLINER'S FLIGHT PLAN COURSE.

The lengthy interview transcript I referred to, on the NICAP website, has a very clear statement of these facts by Capt Ryan just 8 days after the April 8, 1956, incident (my CAPITALS added and bracketed [] clarifications):

     RYAN: It stayed, uh, just that far, ahead of us, and, uh, I
     [was] asked [by] this fellow *[at Griffiss AFB what] our point
     of next intended landing was, and I told him SYRACUSE, and *
     they wanted [us] to, to be identified, and our aircraft number,
     and serial number, and uh, they said, "Well, ABANDON that
     and your altitude."  So we did.  They were calling scramble.

Could Capt Ryan have been any clearer?  Could I have been any clearer?

More comments below.

> Date: Wed, 1 Jan 2003 14:16:02 EST
> From: HerbUFO@AOL.COM
> Subject: Re: The Ryan Case, 1956
> To all:
> In other words, who do you believe? Was the American Airlines flight piloted
> by Capt. Ryan indeed ordered off-course to chase the UFO, or wasn't it?

See above.  Ryan said they were NOT ordered "off course" but were ordered to MAINTAIN COURSE to pursue the UFO straight ahead of the airliner but abandon their next landing at Syracuse to do so.

Are these concepts grasped?  Is there comprehension of the flight circumstances?

The landing at Syracuse was abandoned on orders of the AIR FORCE, Griffiss AFB tower, in order for Ryan to continue the UFO pursuit.

> According to the Blue Book account of this incident, no such thing happened.
> It states, "No instructions were given to the airliner to deviate from
> course. CAA records show that the American Airline flight landed ahead of
> schedule". Were they lying? Guess so, according to Saucer Logic.

Yes by deliberately pretending to not understand, I would call that LYING, unless you unreasonably demand a signed confession of lying before admitting that was the case.  BLUE BOOK surely knew that the Griffiss AFB orders were to abandon the Syracuse landing to continue pursuing the UFO on the SAME COURSE they normally took, NOT TO DEVIATE from the approx 280-deg heading which the airliner normally maintained in order to fly from Albany to Syracuse.

How convenient of the AF to pretend to not understand and to seize on the misunderstanding that Ryan had been ordered to fly off course.  Most lay people would not understand the difference between following something (a UFO) without needing to change direction, and following something in a different direction that required a turn and change of heading.

As to who came up with this misunderstanding, perhaps the press, I do not know, but the AF seized on it to easily deny and knock down a STRAWMAN.

The AF surely knew that the American airliner was ordered by Griffiss AFB to PURSUE THE UFO but on the same undeviated course.  To insinuate otherwise by denying a strawman about a course deviation that was never even discussed during the flight is another type of official military LYING, deceit, gross dishonesty, conduct unbecoming an officer, if not a federal crime if the AF lied to the CAA on a matter within CAA's jurisdiction (a federal criminal statute, 18 US Code 1001, barely enforced until 9-11 a half century later).

And yes Ryan and Neff would have LANDED AHEAD OF SCHEDULE -- because the Air Force told them to ABANDON the scheduled stop at Syracuse to keep chasing the UFO.  Abandoning a stop would have saved them loads of time and put them way ahead of schedule at the next stop, in Rochester.

> Most emphatic are the denials by both the CAA and the CAB that any such
> order was either given or carried out.

That's right, Ryan was never ordered to CHANGE COURSE by the Air Force, but WERE ordered to ABANDON THE SYRACUSE landing stop and continue pursuing the UFO.

>Capt. Ryan's statement to the CAA, with
> the concurrence of his first officer; "I did not deviate from course at any time.
> I did sight an object and it was witnessed". Stated the CAB; "Captain Ryan
> stated most emphatically that he did not deviate from his prescribed course,
> nor was he requested to do so". Were they lying, too? Guess so, according
> to Saucer Logic.

Snide comments aside, Ryan was never ordered to CHANGE COURSE by the Air Force, but WERE ordered to ABANDON THE SYRACUSE landing stop and continue pursuing the UFO.  So Ryan and the CAA were both correct.

> The BB account further states; "This object was also reported by the crews
> of four other flights who thought it was probably a star or planet.
> Interceptors were scrambled at 0348Z and were in the air at 0352Z and at
> 0413Z identified the object as a planet". Another lie? Guess so,
> according to Saucer Logic.

How the hell does BLUE BOOK know that it was "THIS OBJECT" the SAME object seen by Ryan and Neff and others -- which had already shot off and DISAPPEARED BEFORE this alleged interception time of 11:13 PM according to Ryan and Neff????

At roughly 10:45 PM (without more case file data I cannot be absolutely precise) Ryan and Neff saw the UFO they had been chasing for about 1/2 hour in the WEST at about 280 degs suddenly shoot off to the right (for the second time).  The UFO disappeared in the N to NW direction.

If the fighter interceptors came along up to about 1/2 HOUR LATER the UFO would have been long gone.  But if they tried to retrace Ryan's airliner route and the UFO's last reported heading to the N or NW, they might simply have found Venus in that NW direction and wrongly concluded that that was all that Ryan and Neff had seen.

> Note also that the BB account states that was apparently the same object
> was also seen the next night at about the same time by AF ground and air
> witnesses. This only lends further credence to an astronomical
> explanation.
> Regards, Herb Taylor

Yeah, Venus did not go anywhere, so yeah, Venus would have been seen the next night, but that doesn't make it the same object, the UFO that was first seen in the SOUTH by Ryan and Neff and then moved at high speed through 90 degrees of sky to the WEST, where they then chased it for half an hour at about 280 degs azimuth, whereas Venus was in the NORTHWEST at 300-305 degs, etc.  See above and see my previous posting, most of which was rudely IGNORED (below).

Brad Sparks


Recently the April 8, 1956, classic case of Captain Raymond Ryan and First Officer William Neff was brought up on this list as simply a case of the airliner chasing the planet Venus.  In fact, the Venus explanation could not possibly be correct if the airliner had chased it for half an hour on orders of the AF as the airliner would not have flown over (or anywhere near) Syracuse and on AF orders abandoned its scheduled landing there to continue chasing the UFO.  If it had chased Venus to the NW instead of heading W as it actually did, the airliner would have been roughly 40 miles off course N of Syracuse, up towards Watertown, and the issue of abandoning its landing in Syracuse would simply not have come up.  The airliner would also have nearly flown right over the Griffiss AF Base near Rome, NY, that Ryan and Neff
were in radio contact with during the encounter, and that surely would have provoked comment (but didn't, since it didn't happen).  Instead Griffiss AFB tower saw the airliner and UFO both to the S, not to the N, as it would have if the airliner stayed on course for Syracuse as the crew reported.  A chase of Venus would have placed the airliner way off course to the N of the air base.

I researched this a week ago but haven't had a chance till now to hastily reduce this to writing, and the NICAP website has been down making it difficult to recheck.  So from memory as I understand it, based in part on the extensive interview transcript on the NICAP site from April 16, 1956, of both Ryan and Neff:

On an overcast night, Ryan and Neff took off from Albany, NY, airport located north of the city at about 10:15 PM headed north then turning west to head towards Syracuse at 6,000 ft and 260 mph.  Shortly after the turn while they were north of Schenectady they saw the intense white light to the S about 2-3
miles away, which they first thought might have been an airliner coming in for landing at Albany.  But then the light made a rapid 90-degree maneuver in seconds (roughly 20-30 secs) at an estimated speed of 800-1,000 mph to a stopped position dead ahead of the airliner at about 8-10 miles distance where it seemed to be in danger of collision with the airliner, according to Ryan and Neff (at the airliner's speed it might have overtaken the seemingly stationary UFO in about 2 minutes).  The UFO changed color to orange, briefly disappeared then reappeared in the same location.  Ryan radioed Griffiss AFB which strangely claimed its radar was not turned on and would require 30 minutes to warm up.  Griffiss asked the airline crew to continue to head towards the UFO while it scrambled fighter interceptors.  The airliner headed at about 280 degs True towards its next stop at Syracuse and chasing the UFO in that direction (almost W).  But Venus was at 300 degs gradually moving farther north and away to 305 degs during the course of the sighting (almost NW).  And before the chase the UFO had been in the S then moved at high to the W.

Venus does not make rapid maneuvers across 90 degrees of sky, nor is it likely that it could even have been seen through the overcast across that much sky.  We might hypothesize that there were occasional breaks in the clouds but weather reports would need to be studied to see if that was actually possible that night.  Meteor fireballs would not have been visible through overcast either.

Also, it would have to be an extraordinarily rare meteor fireball that could remain visible for 20-30 seconds, and should have been seen by thousands of people over many states -- yet was not, since we have apparently several reports from different locations attributed to Venus that do not describe a fast-moving fireball (I would need to study the actual reports).  Meteors don't start and stop.

As the airliner approached Syracuse, passing south of Griffiss AFB, at around that time the air base controllers asked Ryan to turn his lights off and on so they could identify the airliner.  When he did the AFB told him they could see BOTH the airliner AND the "orange" UFO to the SOUTH of the base.  That
orange light therefore COULD NOT POSSIBLY BE THE PLANET VENUS TO THE NORTHWEST.  The AF description of the UFO's orange color matched the airline crew's observation.  The air base also stated that the UFO was "silhouetted" against the cloud cover -- AN IMPOSSIBILITY FOR VENUS OR A METEOR.

Had the airliner been chasing Venus all this time it would have passed to the NORTH of Griffiss AFB, not SOUTH along with the UFO, as the AF tower personnel actually reported to the crew.  This is simple to see on a map, a course of about 280 matches the events and the airliner's route, whereas a heading of 300-305 towards Venus does not.

After this, Griffiss AFB ordered Ryan to continue pursuit of the UFO and abandon its next stop at Syracuse in order to do so, while they continued to scramble fighters.  Ryan and Neff never saw the fighters but visibility may have been limited due to the cloud cover and weather.

Soon after, Ryan and Neff saw the UFO shoot off to their right towards Oswego, NY, apparently to the N or NW of them and disappeared.

Again, Venus does not suddenly take off and cross the sky at high speed.

Brad Sparks