Saturday, March 28, 2009

Walesville UFO Jet Chase

I was inspired the other day to take another look at the Walesville, New York jet crash in which four people were killed. This incident has been attributed to a UFO in the area. What got me started on this was that I was working on my presentation for the August MUFON Symposium in Denver, and I was using, as an example of scientific research something that Barry Greenwood had done with the film of two UFOs over Great Falls, Montana. I remembered that Greenwood, along with Larry Fawcett had mentioned the Walesville case and had attributed to me some information that more properly belonged to Jacques Vallee.

Convoluted enough for you yet?

So, let’s take a look at this and see what we can learn by accessing some of the sources that are available to us in today’s world.

First, we need to take a look at the basics of the case. According to various UFO writers and researchers including Donald Keyhoe (Aliens from Space pp 26 – 27), on July 1, 1954 "an unknown flying object was tracked over New York State by Griffiss AFB radar. An F-94 Starfire jet was scrambled and the pilot climbed steeply toward the target, guided by his radar observer. When the gleaming disc-shaped machine became visible he started to close in."

Keyhoe (seen here) continued, "Abruptly a furnacelike heat filled both cockpits. Gasping for breath, the pilot jettisoned the canopy. Through a blur of heat waves he saw the radar operator bail out. Stunned, without even thinking, he ejected himself from the plane."

Keyhoe then noted, "The F-94, screaming down into Walesville, N.Y., smashed though a building and burst into flames. Plunging on, the fiery wreckage careened into a car. Four died in the holocaust – a man and his wife and their two infant children. Five other Walesville residents were injured, two of them seriously."

If all this could be factually established, that is, the jet crashed as a result of the actions of a UFO, then we have big news. UFOs aren’t just harmless lights in the sky, but can result in tragedy on the ground.

Keyhoe wasn’t alone in his belief of a UFO attack on an Air Force interceptor. Otto Binder, writing in What We Really Know about Flying Saucers (1967) suggested that it was the radar officer who was saw the UFO and pointed it out to the pilot. The pilot turned the aircraft to get a better look and when the cockpit filled with heat, both men bailed out. Binder claimed that both men were interrogated at length by Air Force investigators who concluded that they were not responsible for the crash. According to Binder, there was only one source for the heat and that was the UFO. Binder said that his account was based on Air Force Records, which is true, to an extent. There was also a great deal of interpretation in Binder’s account.

J. Allen Hynek (seen here) and Jacques Vallee, in The Edge of Reality (1975) discussed the case. Vallee suggested that there had been a dense cloud cover and that the UFO had been picked up on radar. Two jets were scrambled, one that remained in the clouds and the second that climbed to a higher altitude. When it broke through into clear sky, the pilot saw the UFO coming at him. The cockpit filled with heat and both men believe the aircraft was about to burst into flames. They bailed out and landed safely, but the aircraft crashed into Walesville.

Hynek said the case wasn’t documented but Vallee said, "Yes, it is documented. It was even mentioned in the New York Times the next day."
So, what are the facts in this case? According to both news and official sources, there was a UFO sighting over Rome, New York on July 2, but in the evening, hours after the jet crash. The New York Times for July 3 reported:

UTICA. N.Y., July 2 (AP) – A silvery, balloon-like object floating over the Utica area tonight sent residents rushing to their telephones to make inquiries of newspapers, police and radio stations.

The Utica Press estimated that more than 1,000 calls about the object jammed its switchboard between 6 and 10 P.M. It was reported by residents in a twenty-five mile radius extending from Rome on the west to Frankfort, east of Utica.

Col. Milton F. Summerfelt, commandant of the Air Force Depot at Rome, said the object appeared to be a plastic balloon about forty feet long and partially deflated. He
theorized that it was making a gradual descent and said that if it was still in in the area tomorrow morning a plane would be sent to investigate.
A Mohawk Airlines pilot estimated the altitude of the object at about 20,000 feet. He said he saw a light apparently shining from it.

For some reason, Keyhoe and some of the others have given the July 1 date for the balloon sighting and sometimes for the jet crash as well. A confusion of the two events might explain how the description of a disc-shaped object originated. Since both incidents were reported in the same general area and on the same day, the confusion is understandable.

The Project Blue Book files tell the jet-crash story in a slight different way from that given by Keyhoe, Vallee and others. Neither incident is part of Blue Book’s official record. The index for Blue Book, which does list the accident, also notes it is "info" only, and lists the "witnesses" as Len Stringfield and others. I suppose I should point out that Stringfield, living in Ohio, did not make an on-site investigation and didn’t witness the incident. He reported it in his newsletter and that is what made him a "witness" in the Air Force file.
According to the "Summary of Circumstances" which is part of the official Air Force file on the case:

The F-94C took off at 11:05 AM EST for an operational training mission out of Griffiss Air Force Base, New York on 2 July 1954. The aircraft was only a few miles out when the Griffiss control tower operator called the pilot to advise that he was being diverted to an active air defense mission. A vector of 60 degrees and 10,000 feet altitude was give to intercept an unidentified aircraft. The pilot experienced some difficulty finding this aircraft and the controller informed him of a second unidentified aircraft in the area. This aircraft was [subsequently] identified [by the pilot] as an Air Force C-47, tail number 6099. At this time there were no indications of F-94 malfunctions as stated by the pilot and the C-47 pilot.

What this tells us is that the unidentified object was later identified as a C-47. The F-94C (seen here) was not, in fact scrambled to intercept a UFO as suggested by some, but was already airborne when diverted to the mission. However, it is true that the aircraft was asked to identify an unknown target, which, in layman’s terms is a UFO.

Once the C-47 was identified:

The ground controller gave the F-94C pilot a heading of 240 degrees as a vector back to the first unidentified aircraft. The F-94C was at 8,000 feet, flying about the tops of broken clouds, so the pilot started to descend below the clouds. It was evident that the unidentified aircraft was going to Griffiss Air Force Base. During the descent there was intense heat in the cockpit and the engine plenum chamber fire warning light came on. The pilot shut down the engine and the light remained on. Due to critical low altitude and the fire warning, the pilot and the radar observer ejected and were recovered without injury.

Clearly, based on this, the other UFO, the one the pilot couldn’t find at first, was in the traffic pattern for the Air Force base. The identity, though not established by the pilot, was by the tower crew and the mission had ended. The UFOs were both military aircraft.

I think this is where the idea there were two jets involved came from. There were two attempted intercepts but by only one aircraft. I have seen notations suggesting a second jet, but the evidence doesn’t bear this out.

The other point that needs to be made here is that there was not a dense cloud cover. The term, "broken clouds" relates to the portion of the sky obscured by clouds. This means there were some clouds but they did not obscure the whole sky, and given the various altitudes for those clouds, it could have meant that from the cockpit, little of the sky was hidden.

The reported ended, "The aircraft traveled about four miles from the point of ejection and, while on a heading of 199 degrees, crashed into the Walesville intersection at 11:27 AM EST. The aircraft struck a dwelling, killing a housewife and injuring her daughter, then struck an auto at an intersection, killing all three occupants."

The Air Force report says nothing about the aircraft being scrambled, a disc-shaped UFO, or a heat ray, as alleged by some UFO writers. There is, in fact, no reason to suggest that this case has anything to do with UFOs, other than the assumptions made by Keyhoe in the 1950s and those who followed after that.

Keyhoe, in fact, gets the identities of the civilians killed wrong. According to the New York Times for Saturday, July 3, 1954, "Those killed were Stanley Phillips, 38, his wife, Florence, 32, and their son Gary, 11, all of neighboring Hecla, and Mrs. Doris Monroe, 28, occupant of one of the houses."

The Air Force conducted an investigation into the accident, but this report was sealed for many years. Given that the Air Force-sponsored University of Colorado UFO study, popularly known as the Condon Committee, had access to many official documents, it may not be surprising they did not create a UFO file for this incident because there was no UFO involved.

With or without a UFO, there is the question of what caused the heat in the cockpit. Was there a fire on the F-94C, and if so, what caused it? Was the malfunction of the aircraft in any way mysterious?

Until years after the crash, these questions could not be answered definitively because the accident report was still in the government archives. But upon the request of Jan Aldrich, the report was declassified and released. The general details of the accident are basically the same as reported by Keyhoe and the others. The key finding in the accident investigation is in paragraph 3 of the summary statement:

Investigation revealed the primary cause of the accident to be a malfunction of the aircraft fire detector circuit. The cause of the malfunction could not be determined. The pilot’s decision to abandon the aircraft was consistent with the emergency instructions contained in the F-94C Flight Handbook.

A thorough examination of the plane’s air conditioning and pressurization system indicated no evidence of smoke, fuel, or oil, which would have been generated by a fire. The pilot had flown the aircraft on a previous flight that same day and had found it necessary to adjust the cockpit temperature manually several times. The air vents were set so that pressurized air was being directed into the cockpit.

The report suggests that "Inasmuch as the pilot acknowledged changing the engine power settings and flight attitude during his attempted second interception, it appears that the pilot interpreted a normal, non-automatically controlled temperature rise as an overheat cockpit condition. Since there was no evidence of an inflight fire, the fire warning indication received was probably due to a malfunction of the fire warning circuit."

This accident then became a terrible bit of bad luck as the malfunctioning of the fire warning occurred just as the cockpit was being heated from normal aircraft operations. Following procedures, after the warning continued, the pilot shut down the engines and he and his radar observer bailed out, leaving the pilotless plane to crash in Walesville. As a relevant aside, another conclusion of the report was that the Air Force’s inspection requirements for the F-94C fire and overheat warning circuits were inadequate.

The accident report was completed on August 17, 1954, before Keyhoe wrote Flying Saucer Conspiracy (Jet engine on the ground in Walesville). If he had been given access to the document, or at least was provided with the relevant conclusions by Air Force spokesmen, the confusion over Walesville might never have happened. Instead, given the understandable confidentiality requirements of military accident investigators, Keyhoe and other writers were left to speculate about the cause of the heat in the cockpit and the cause of the crash.

In any event, the Walesville case, like that of the death of Thomas Mantell in 1948, should be removed from the UFO files. There was no UFO involved in this tragedy, though there certainly were momentarily unidentified aircraft.

Fawcett and Greenwood in their book, The UFO Cover-up (which originally was titled Clear Intent) wrote, "Without the full details of the crash, it is impossible to determine what caused the jet to malfunction."

Then they go on to write, "In the Encyclopedia of UFOs, edited by Ron Story (Doubleday Dolphin, 1980), an entry by Kevin Randle attempts to explain away the Walesville crash as nothing more than an engine fire which poured heat into the cockpit. His "documented evidence" is a news clipping from the New York Times. If the author of the entry had truly been interested in documented evidence other than a newspaper clipping, he would have noticed that the accident report on Walesville contained the following conclusions: ‘Investigation of the wreckage disclosed no in-flight fire. The cause of the malfunction in the fire warning system could not be determined.’(Emphasis in the original.)"

Of course, had they bothered to read what I had written, they would have realized that I was quoting Jacques Vallee. The sentence in question is, "Jacques Vallee claimed that the case was documented, and it was even reported in The New York Times."

Secondly, documentation available today suggests, as noted earlier, there was no fire, but there was a malfunction in the fire warning system. The pilot, identified as Lt. William E. Atkins, thought that because the cockpit was extremely hot, and because of the warning light, that the aircraft was on fire. Fawcett and Greenwood wrote that "He [the pilot] alerted the radar operator, Lt. Henry Condon [identified in some sources as Coudon], placed the throttle in the idle position, waited four seconds, then stop-cocked the throttle. After waiting another four seconds, Atkins and Condon successfully bailed out."

They then added, "So, while we have no specific evidence that the aircraft was attacked by a UFO, the cause of the crash remains unknown to this day. Is it merely coincidence that the jet developed a fault during a UFO chase or...?"

Except, everything points to the UFO, or UFOs, being identified as aircraft or the partially deflated balloon. There is no UFO in the classic sense involved in this case. The cause of the accident is the malfunctioning fire warning light and the only thing not explained is the sensation of extreme heat in the cockpit that suggested to the pilot, along with the warning light, that the aircraft was on fire.

This is a tragic accident that resulted in the deaths of four civilians on the ground. The Air Force got this one right. It isn’t a UFO case, but an aircraft accident.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Roswell UFO Crash and Patrick Saunders

Patrick Saunders, who was the Roswell Army Air Field adjutant in July 1947, died in 1995, but not before leaving a legacy of information about his role in the retrieval and cover up. Had something happened in Roswell, no matter what it had been, as the adjutant and a member of Colonel William Blanchard’s primary staff, Saunders would have been in on it. And, according to the information I have, he was not only in on it, he played a major part in it.

Before we look at all that, let’s take a moment to get to know the man himself. Saunders was born in Alabama in 1916 and died 76 years later in 1995 in Florida. He attended the University of Florida and was graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the Air War College. During the Second World War he flew 37 combat missions and was awarded the Legion of Merit, the Silver Star, a Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters. Patrick Saunders died in November 1995, after a fall that put him into the hospital.

I first talked to Saunders in June 1989, as I was beginning my research into the Roswell case. He had just gotten out of the hospital after a heart attack, which, had I known, I would have waited several weeks before calling him. Sometimes my timing was very bad. That didn’t mean he wasn’t up to a telephone conversation and when I asked about the possibility of the UFO crash, he said that he knew nothing about the little green bodies and said that the whole thing was a big joke. He did confirm that he had been the 509th adjutant for only a few weeks when the events of July 1947 transpired.

I asked if he could remember any of the rumors and which of those might have some truth to them, he said, simply, "I can't specify anything." Saunders, it seemed, was not a witness to the story. Or rather, that was what he led me to believe at the time, which probably saved him from dozens of telephone calls from around the world wanting to know what the truth was.

But that really wasn’t the end of it. I learned that later, after both UFO Crash at Roswell and The Truth about the UFO Crash at Roswell were published, he bought copies. In fact, he bought lots of copies, because, according to what he wrote on the first page of The Truth about the UFO Crash at Roswell, he believed that was the truth.
The quotation, in his own handwriting, "Here's the truth and I still haven't told anybody anything! Pat" is on the flyleaf in The Truth about the UFO Crash at Roswell which was labeled, "Damage Control," and his comment is presumed to refer to that specific page. It said:

Files were altered. So were personal records, along with assignments and various codings and code words. Changing serial numbers ensured that those searching later would not be able to locate those who were involved in the recovery. Individuals were brought into Roswell from Alamogordo, Albuquerque and Los Alamos. The MP s were a special unit constructed of military police elements from Kirtland, Alamogordo, and Roswell. If the men didn’t know one another, or were separated after the event, they would be unable to compare notes and that would make the secret easier to keep.

On the flyleaf to UFO Crash at Roswell, and sent on to his daughter, he wrote, "You were there! Love, Dad." It said:


Rickett, the senior counterintelligence man an the Provost Marshal walked the perimeter of the debris field examining the wreckage scattered there. Most of the pieces were small, no more than a few inches long and wide, but some measured a couple of feet on one side.

The came to one piece that was about two feet by two feet. According to Rickett, it was slightly curved. He locked it against his knew and tried to bend it or break it. The
metal was very think and very lightweight. Rickett couldn’t bend it at all. As they prepared to leave the crash site, the senior CIC agent turned to Rickett. "You and I were never out here," he said. "You and I never saw this.You don’t see any military people or military vehicles out here either."

"Yeah," Rickett agreed. We never even left the office."

Of course it could be argued, and probably will be, that the messages are opened to interpretation. Here is a man who was at Roswell during the critical weeks suggesting, obliquely, that the information about the crash, retrieval and cover up is real. In fact, according to one letter I received from one of his children, Saunders had "At one point... bragged to me about how well he had covered the "paper trail" associated with the clean up!"

In the months before he died, he confided in a number of close and life long friends that suddenly, the officers of the 509th Bomb Group were confronted with a technology greater than that of Earth. They, meaning the creatures in the flying saucers, had control of the sky. The Air Force was powerless against them. And they, the members of the Army Air Forces, had just seen the power of control of the sky. It was one of the factors that defeated the enemies in the Second World War.

Saunders went on, telling people that military officials had no idea about what their, the pilots of the craft, intentions might be. Their technology was more advanced than that of the United States. Top military leaders didn't know if the alien beings were a threat so the government was reluctant to release anything about them.

He did warn those he talked with to be careful. He was aware of the threats that had been made and he believed that those making them were serious. Here was a retired Air Force officer who was warning his family to be careful about what they said and who they said it to. One of his daughters wrote, "...he asked me a lot of questions probably to see if, in fact, I had read [UFO Crash at Roswell] carefully. Then he wanted me to understand that he felt the threats to people who ‘talked’ were very real..."

So, once again, I’m confronted with information, from a reliable source, that suggests that threats were made. The people who heard those threats believed them to be real.

I’ll note one other thing. When the Air Force was making their Roswell investigation, they did not interview Saunders, though they certainly had the chance. He wasn’t all that old, only 76, and while his heart might have been weakened, he certainly had the strength to sit through an interview with another Air Force officer. Colonel Richard Weaver, who conducted some of these interviews in 1994, would have been welcomed in the Saunders home, as he was in others. But Weaver didn’t bother to search out Saunders, just as he failed to find Brigadier General Arthur Exon or ask to hear the tapes and read the notes that I had made with Edwin Easley. Why talk to those men, when you knew that Sheridan Cavitt would follow the script and that the men of Mogul would offer the information you needed to follow that lead?

What's important here is that Saunders did not share this information with UFO researchers or outsiders at all. He kept it to himself, telling close friends and family only after the story had been told by so many others. It can't be said that he was seeking fame or fortune by creating a tale to put himself in the limelight. He told only his closest friends and family.

In fact, Saunders, when he prepared for his own funeral, added a note to his list of accomplishments, mentioning his role in Roswell. It was there beside the notes of his Air Force service, flying "the Hump" in the Chinese-Burmese-Indian Theater in the Second World War, and the list of the awards and decorations he acquired during his military service. Clearly the events in Roswell were important to him.

What we have now are several statements, written in his own hand, and shared with friends and family. Statements that suggest that Saunders was deeply involved in the Roswell events and they had nothing to do with a balloon, regardless of the mission of that balloon or who was claiming that it was a balloon.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Roswell Firemen and the Double Standard

The double standard in UFO research is alive and well in Roswell. Tony Bragalia reports on what he and I learned from talking with one of the Roswell Firemen, and the first skeptical comment is that we can’t trust the memories of the old. The man shared with us his recollections of what happened in 1947 but he’s old (and fairly crotchety) so we can ignore this. His memories are all jumbled together, confused, confabulated, incoherent, and not based in reality.

First, let’s examine exactly what he told to Tony and what he told to me. He said that there had been no run out to the UFO crash site by the Roswell Fire Department. He didn’t say they didn’t make runs outside the city limits because we know that isn’t true. He said that there had been no run by the fire department for this specific event. Not that crash didn’t happen, but that they made no fire run.

Why not? A colonel from the base (though I suspect it might have been an officer of a lower grade simply because there weren’t that many colonels in Roswell, though the Roswell Fire Marshal was a lieutenant colonel) came out and ordered them not to go. Later the City Manager did the same thing by ordering the firemen not to discuss the events.

It also seems that the men of the Roswell Army Air Field fire department did respond to the crash. It was this fire department that went out to the site, and not the civilians.

When I spoke the to man, he was reluctant to talk, and if I approached a question from a slightly different angle he would tell me that he had already answered that question. This told me that he was still sharp at age 90 and that his mind had not faded as some might suggest.

One point that I made in an earlier post was this man had been interviewed by Karl Pflock, and his testimony had been used to discredit Frankie Rowe. When I asked if he knew Dan Dwyer, Frankie Rowe’s father, he said that he had. He said that Dan was a fireman (removing, again, this skeptical claim that it had been proven that Frankie Rowe’s father was not a fireman... why do I think that someone tried to find a fireman in that frame with the last name Rowe, never thinking that Frankie Rowe had once been Frankie Dwyer and when she married took her husband’s name?)

It was at this point the man told me, as he had Tony, that the colonel had come into the department to order them not to go, but that Frankie’s father, in his personal car (or POV for those of you with a military mind set) drove to the site. He said that Dan had told him the site was cordoned by armed guards, but that Dwyer had gotten close enough to see the craft. In other words, corroboration for Frankie Rowe.

Second, let’s talk about this double standard. We are told to be careful of information obtained from the very old. We are told of diseases of the mind that cause confusion in the elderly. We are told how they jumble their memories together and that we can ignore what they say, especially if it concerns the crash of an alien spacecraft.

On the other hand, these same skeptics have no trouble accepting the memories of the old if those memories conform to what they believe. Take Charles Moore, for example (and I don’t mean to pick on him, but the best example includes him). Moore is believed when he talks of the mythical Mogul Flight No. 4. We all know it happened because Moore told us he remembered losing track of the balloons up around Arabella and he was intrigued by the strange names of the places in New Mexico. So, contrary to the record that suggests Flight No. 4 was cancelled, and contrary to the information that the first successful flight in New Mexico was No. 5, we know there was a Flight No. 4 because Moore remembered losing track of it near Arabella.

So, why are these fifty and sixty-year-old memories of Moore accepted and those of the fireman rejected? How is it that Moore’s memory remained intact and that of the fireman has been jumbled by age and the publicity surrounding the Roswell crash? Why do we accept Moore’s claim of losing track of a flight near Arabella that we can’t establish took place but reject the information that corroborates the testimony of other witnesses?

Here’s the real point, however. Both Tony and I have interviewed a man who was in the Roswell Fire Department in July 1947. He said that they were told by a military representative told them not to go out there. He said that he was told the base fire department would handle it. He said that he learned, from Dwyer, that the craft was strange... suggesting that it was an unknown object from someplace else.

He has corroborated much of what Frankie Rowe said which means we can dispense with calling her a liar. She might be mistaken, she might be wrong, but she’s not a liar. Others are saying the same things she said so that her story is no longer stand alone (though her sister had corroborated part of it long ago). She has been vindicated.

Where do we go now? Well, I have the names of some of those who served in the base fire department and the search for them will begin. Of course, I realize that we are now more than sixty years from the event and the men who served in various capacities on the base would likely be in their late 80s and into their 90s, but we might get lucky. And we know of a couple of other places to begin searching for information. We now just have to take that step.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Really Old UFO Reports

According to information discovered by Mark Murphy and Noe Torres and reported on their website:

It was late on a Saturday afternoon, that residents of Dublin, Texas were startled by a bright, oblong-shaped object about 300 feet above them. They reported a loud sound, like a bomb going off, and they saw the object disintegrate, hurling metal and debris over the town, near the Wasson & Miller flour mill and cotton gin.

On June 20, 1891, the Dublin Progress, the local newspaper published an article about the event on page four. They reported:

A Meteor Explodes in the City

An Eye Witness Describes the Scene to a Progress Reporter

Quite a little excitement was created last Saturday night by the bursting of what is supposed by those who were present to have been a meteor, near Wasson & Miller’s gin. Quite a number witnessed the explosion and nearly everyone in that portion of the city heard the report eminating [sic] therefrom, which is said to have sounded somewhat like the report of a bomb-shell. Our informant (who, though a little nervous at times, is a gentleman who usually tells the truth, but did not give us this statement with a view to its publication) says he observed the meteor when it was more than three hundred feet in the air, before bursting, and that it bore a striking resemblance to a bale of cotton suspended in the air after having been saturated in kerosene oil and ignited, except that it created a much brighter light, almost dazzling those who percieved [sic] it. The gentleman in question seems to have been so badly frightened that it was utterly impossible to obtain an accurate account of the dimensions and general appearance of this rare phenomenon, but we are convinced from his statements that his position at the time must have been very embarrassing and that very little time was spent in scientific investigations. However, on the following morning he returned to the scene so hastily left the previous night, to find the weeds, grass, bushes and vegetation of every description for many yards around the scene of the explosion burned to a crisp, also discovering a number of peculiar stones and pieces of metal, all of a leaden color, presenting much the appearance of the lava thrown out by volcanic eruptions. He also picked up some small fragments of manuscript and a scrap, supposed to be part of a newspaper, but the language in both was entirely foreign to him, and, in fact, no one has yet been found who has ever seen such a language before, hence no information could be gained from their examination. At this juncture your reporter requested that he be shown these wonderful fragments of such a miraculous whole, but the narrator had worked himself up to such a pitch of excitement that it was impossible to get him to grasp the significance of our request, and were compelled to leave him a victim to his own bewildered fancy and to ruminate the seemingly miraculous story he had just related. Thus was a repotorial [sic] zealot denied the boon of seeing fragments of the most remarkable substance ever known to explode near Wasson & Miller’s gin.

P.S. Since the above was put in type we learn that our reporter was given the above information by a contributor to the Dublin Telephone, but the information came too late too late to prevent its insertion in this paper.

The description of the object sounds like a bolide, that is, an extremely bright meteor. They are so bright that they can easily be seen in the daytime, and they are often accompanied by sonic booms, which, the people of Dublin in 1891 wouldn’t have known. The only problem is this description of it hovering above the mill. That could have been an optical illusion if the meteor had left a smoke trail, something else bolides do. In this case, I suspect that the description in the article, that a meteor exploded over the city, is the proper solution here, though it is an interesting article.
I will note here that Noe Torres (along with Ruben Uriate) is one of the authors of The Other Roswell: UFO Crash on the Texas-Mexico Border. He has been studying UFOs for more than twenty years and is a member of Texas MUFON. If you get the change, take a look at his books which span more than just UFOs.