As I was doing research for another project, I had occasion to look up information on the Glassboro, UFO landing, and that lead me to David Halperin. He was the guest on A Different Perspective, the radio show. You can listen to it here:
We talked about the Glassboro landing, which he had investigated at the time, though as a teenager interested in UFOs rather than an adult with a predetermined bias. His investigation suggested to him that it was real, but events overtook him and within months, the case was an admitted hoax. He was, of course, disappointed about that, but it was the conclusion that the Air Force had reached, though NICAP had pronounced the case “Impressive.”
The NICAP U.F.O Investigator for September/October 1964 carried a front-page story about the landing including several pictures of their investigator and of the New Jersey State Police examining the landing site. The story, as told by NICAP, the Air Force and the newspapers, was that two men saw a red UFO slowly descending, land and then take off several minutes later. When it was gone, they searched the woods and found a crater with landing gear impressions around it. They never came forward to officially report the sighting but did tell two boys who were fishing about what they had seen. Those boys, in turn, told their father, Ward Campbell, who was the local NICAP representative.
|This is the picture that I mention to|
David with the State Troopers
looking into the crater.
From that point the story got out and Campbell quickly investigated and according to the U.F.O Investigator, “…established the facts which challenged the later Air Force conclusion that the case was a hoax perpetrated by youngsters in the area.”
The Air Force did investigate as required by Air Force regulations that were in effect at the time. Before they arrived, the sightseers (which would include a whole bunch of self-announced UFO investigators) had trampled the area. The Air Force, after their investigation and according to NICAP, finding “…three bubblegum wrappers, the remains of a cherry bomb and four footprints made by a pair of Ked sneakers… [and that it was] further claimed that the Air Force personnel, using elaborate camera equipment, had identified two teenage hoaxers by photographing the crowd.”
Then according to NICAP, “On September 30, newspapers reported the Air Force had called the case a hoax… The absurdity of this conclusion is apparent.”
But NICAP didn’t report that in January, one of the boys who had been involved in the hoax (not the two sons of Campbell), Michael Hallowitz, was fined fifty bucks for perpetrating the hoax, but all that was suspended. He did have to pay ten dollars court costs. He explained how he had done it and that he had the help of two others.
While you all might disagree with the Air Force conclusion, and you might notice that NICAP wasn’t above a little hyperbole in their condemnation of the Air Force, you can listen to Halperin give his tale of investigating the case and his disappointment when he learned it was a hoax. Just goes to show that the Air Force did, once in a while, get it right.
We also talked about his book, Journal of a UFO Investigator, which he described as a work of fiction, but that real world elements in it. The book does seem to give a glimpse into the world of flying saucers as it existed some fifty years ago.
Next week’s guest: Lorna Hunter
Topic: Minnesota UFO Sightings and Investigations.