Date: Sun, 09 Mar 2008 07:36:26 -0500
From: Brad Sparks
Subject: March 8, 1950, Over ATIC (Ohio) Not A Good Case
To: nicap@insightbb.com
Cat: 9,11


I read all the BB (Grudge) docs.  The Project Grudge docs are very bad, neat looking but the data are nonsense (SSW is called less than 180 degs azimuth when in fact it is 202.5 degs, they can't keep their directions straight).  Something also is very wrong with Ruppelt's account.  It's almost like there is no overlap between the Grudge reports and Ruppelt.  Data do not all match up.

According to the BB/Grudge docs despite specific efforts with several radars there was no radar confirmation of the stationary light seen for over 2-1/2 hours from about 7 to 9:35 AM when clouds covered the light and it was never seen again -- not seen the next morning, not ever again, apparently, which casts doubt on whether it could have been Venus.  The only radar contact was at 11:30 AM and it was clearly ice crystals, it was about 6 miles in size and an interceptor sent up ran into ice crystals (another reports suggests it was over 20 miles in size and this kind of gross discrepancy is typical in this badly botched case).  The initial sighting at 6:50 AM of a fast moving light seen for 5 seconds may have been a meteor.  The stationary light seen for hours afterward is a bit of a mystery, but could arguably have been Venus nonetheless.

Major Kenneth Chilstrom went up in an F-80 at 8:10 AM and tried for over 20 minutes but could never see the light even when the control tower could see he was heading right towards the light that the controllers still saw.  Lt Col Shafer went up in an F-51 about 9 AM and spent 20-30 minutes trying to reach the light which he thought was a celestial body, later suggested to be Venus by an astronomer he contacted. A tower controller George Barnes claimed it was "ascending at terrific speed" for 2-1/2 HOURS!!  That's absolute nonsense.  There was general agreement among witnesses that it was stationary.  If it moved at "terrific speed" it would be gone very quickly and would not still be there after 2-1/2 hours!

What is extremely frustrating is that the direction of the stationary light is obfuscated with astounding confusion or nonsense -- I've seen it given as 120, 155-160 degs, 160-170 degs, 165-170 degs, 180 degs, SSW (about 200 degs),  NW (or about 315 degs -- or was this the direction it was coming from thus going to 135 degs??).

Venus was at 130 degs at 7 AM and 170 degs at 9:35 AM, a fairly close match to most of those directional bearings.  The light's elevation was variously reported at 15 or 40 degs.  Venus started at 21 degs at first sighting time and was at 36 degs at last sighting.  Again another fairly close match.