Two things this report didn't mention: throughout much of the trip, there was a temperature inversion and the frequency the crew detected was an exact match for the 2800 Megahertz frequency the ground-tracking station was broadcasting. While I don't believe they were detecting AA Flight 655, it is possible that they were detecting a sensor ghost.
That explanation doesn't take into account the repeated visual observations by the flight crew. Paul
Inversion layers can produce looming mirages as well as reflect radar. Indeed, no "craft" was witnessed, only a bright light that appeared to close on their position.I'm not disputing the presence of an inexplicable anomaly, but we cannot assume these men witnessed any sort of "craft". It truly should be labeled as an unexplained aerial phenomenon with at least some data to support the theory that an inversion layer propagated various rare phenomena. Especially when one factors in a degree of confusion between the ground signal and the target, which Major McClure later admitted had occurred. There were also reluctantly admitted discrepancies in the reporting dates, which makes backtracking weather data difficult. All in all, the story has a number of holes in it that leave the more logical explanation of an unusual atmospheric phenomenon standing on firmer ground.
Cullan,I disagree with your conclusion taht the atmospheric phenomenon explanation stands on firmer ground, even as I agree - and never said otherwise - that the case remains a UFO / UAP, still unidentified. But you also have to examine the fact that the USAF felt compelled to offer a patently absurd explanation when it could have offered the temperature inversion story back then. There is also the fact that this RB47 incident was one of several similar incidents over a period of years in that era, one of which was discussed briefly by Lieutenant Colonel Bailey in the Best Evidence RB47 segment. All of those incidents had more or less the same characteristics - surely they were not all temperature inversions? Finally, there is the USAF's reaction, which was to swear the crew's to uber-secrecy - again, surely not necessary if all they were dealing with was a termperature inversion.Paul
My high-level sources inform me that temperature inversions have a special affinity for RB47 aircraft.
In my opinion, the air force (other than those most directly involved with Blue Book) found much of this UFO reporting to be a headache. Time and again, we saw them throwing out half-baked answers. I don't think this speaks to any cover up as it attests to their inability to care. When, day after day, you've someone stomping their feet and shaking their fist, demanding the "truth", you probably get sick of it and instead of saying "frankly, we don't know", you throw out some ludicrous explanation. The rationale being, they're not going to take "I don't know" for an answer so give them something. The ironic thing being, those somethings were often so ridiculously transparent that they, too, became unacceptable. As for the other reports, I cannot speak to the veracity of those claims. The one came years later from only one man, Bailey, who himself mentions there were more in addition to RB47. I don't know of any corroborating reports, testimonies, etc... to Bailey's case. And there may be, I am just not aware of them. The report Chase and his crew (holes and all) was exhaustively documented and researched by Roy Craig. No one in that case seemed to be sworn to secrecy. They spoke freely. True, the "official" documents went missing and there were discrepancies in their timelines, as if they were trying to get their stories straight. We can choose to view those facts suspiciously as part of some nefarious agenda or simply view it as the ongoing ineptitude of the US Govt.
Of course, the very fact that there are so many points-counterpoints to this account is probably what makes it one of the most enduring accounts in the annals of unidentified phenomena. So, it was great to see it included in this documentary since far less compelling stories have received a lot more press.
Cullan, While I disagree with your analysis, it's good to have these cases discussed rather than things such as crashed flying saucers in Roswell.I'll let Brad Sparks know about your comments, and see if he has anything to say. His research into the RB47 cases is far more extensive than mine. In particular, however, with reference to the "official documents", I don't think they just went missing, but as I said I'll check with Brad about the various intel angles.Best regards,Paul
A brief word about Lieutenant Colonel Bailey - he is one of the most credible men I've met in my ufological related travels, and is well-connected to all former RB47 crew members through their official group and as a result of his books on the RB47 and his unit's history. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_M._Bailey
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