Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Astronomers and UFOs

In the ongoing saga of whether or not astronomers, amateur and professional, see and report UFOs, I have the following, sent to me by Chris Rutkowski and reported to MUFON in Colorado.
The report said:

On the evening of 10-17-09 myself and four other club members were at our astronomy clubs observatory (35.8308 96.14518) for a clear night of observing. With many years of experience in observing under our belts we were needless to say quite qualified to identify most anything that we would see. Between approximately 6:40 - 7:00 P.M. one of the members noticed something off in the west and queried as to what it may happen to be. First and foremost it was bright, more or less as bright as Jupiter, yet setting about ten to twelve degrees above the horizon, due west.

At our first sighting most of us thought that it was nothing more than an airliner reflecting sunlight from the setting sun but that determination was tossed aside shortly there after. If it had been what we first thought it was it would’ve lost its size and brightness fairly quick as it shifted positions in relation to the sun while in flight. But, it continued to maintain its position, did not move in any direction - vertically, horizontally. If by some chance it were a celestial body it would follow a gradual celestial track that all of us would have noticed in a few minutes.

Again, it didn’t move, remained in one position, which eliminated the possibility of it being a celestial body that none of us were unlikely familiar with. That alone became puzzling since the obvious - Venus, Mercury - are now tracking in the morning eastern sky, not the evening western sky. With that we continued to watch it as one of the guys used his 10x50 binoculars to get a better view. What was seen initially brought to mind that it may perhaps be a high altitude research balloon but the more we watched it and as it maintained its position that thought was tossed quickly also. From the beginning it remained in one position, never moved. Balloons, of any type, will not remain in one specific position be they weather balloons, high altitude research balloons or otherwise.

But as we watched it more closely it was very surprising as to the manner in which it morphed into various shapes and sizes. Its brightness would vary some but that was easily seen as being caused by the low-lying clouds on the horizon. As we commonly call it - it was - sitting in the soup. When they would move in front of it the objects brightness would dim some. Otherwise it would maintain its brightness. That was easily seen via binocular observations.

The longer we watched it the more curious we all became and with that growing curiosity we quickly set two telescopes onto it. Two different sized telescopes were used, one, Celestron 11- Schimdt-Cassegrain telescope and a smaller Orion 4.5 - dobsonian telescope. Between the two we could pull it in for a much closer look in a very inquisitive effort to determine just what it actually was.

Charts and web sites were checked also to make sure we weren’t simply forgetting perhaps one event that may explain what we were now seeing. Nothing could befound. The Celestron was using a 40mm eyepiece for a much wider field of view whereas the smaller Orion had a 15mm eyepiece to pull it in much closer. Through the Orion one could easily see what appeared right off as a bell shape. The same was viewed in the other also. But as mentioned before it morphed into what was clearly seen and could be interpreted as the same basic outline of the Shuttle that anyone would see as it flies over.

Again, the same basic shape as to what you would see looking up at the bottom of it. That distinctive shape was easily recognized. At the rear of it you could see what looked like bluish green waves that would both come and go from the main rear line of the object. Nowhere else was this color and wave seen, just at the rear. The objects color was a combination of the just mentioned bluish green at the rear to a lighter orange yellow up through the main body and then into red orange, much more intense, than any of the other colors at the top or perhaps, from appearance at that time, leading edge. None of us had ever seen a color distribution of this sort before. Especially on either the Shuttle or any other normal day-to-day satellites.

From our position/location it appeared to be hovering over either Bristow, OK or possibly even Oklahoma City. There was no attempt by any of us then to determine its specific distance or altitude from us. The same applies to its actual size. Visually, it appeared very similar to the size of Jupiter. Other than that comparison we honestly don’t know either its distance or specific altitude. It remained in the same position for approximately 40 minutes and never moved.

Close to 8 P.M. we started to notice what appeared to be a ring of lights that was rotating around the bottom portion. The lights were seen in the same location that the bluish green colored waves were at. Several of us noticed this while looking at it through the telescopes. Needless to say this was surprising to us all. This carried on for one to two minutes and then suddenly the object started to move. The movement was slow at the beginning but increased very rapidly. I had my eye glued to the 40mm eyepiece when this began and once it started I could not move. Within two seconds it had totally disappeared from open visual sight but I still had a lock on it in the eyepiece. Fast, very fast it moved from dead center in the eyepiece field of view upwards and at the same time was getting smaller and smaller as it flew away. Two or three seconds later it was totally gone from view in either of the telescopes.

The speed that it moved was without question way beyond anything that we have knowledge of or is publicly known to be in our military. At the rate it flew away would make a SR-71 Blackbird look very old and slow. Could it have possibly been a new experimental aircraft? Possibly yes but if so what was something such as that doing in Oklahoma? Most generally new experimental, top-secret aircraft of that type are being tested at either Edwards AFB or Area 51, not Oklahoma. In a nutshell, we will never know. It was unidentifiable, it was in the air and flew away and it most certainly was an object of some unknown kind/type. From this alone it could be justifiably categorized as a UFO.

I will make a couple of points here. These were astronomers, familiar with the sky and what would be in it. They reported something more than just a blob of light, they observed it through telescopes and binoculars, and they watched it disappear by flying away rather than just fading out. It seems they saw some sort of manufactured craft that resembled the space shuttle but clearly was not. This then, would be a report of a UFO by astronomers.


David Rudiak said...

Thanks Kevin for yet another interesting astronomer UFO sighting. If we were to believe the debunkers like Phil Plait or James McGaha or Carl Sagan, such sightings never ever happen.

But as we know, the statistics say differently. Professional and amateur astronomer or other users of telescopes (e.g., surveyors or missile trackers) make up about 1% of all Project Blue Book unknown sightings, though their numbers in the population are at least ten times smaller than this.

Hynek's 1952 survey of 45 professional astronomers had 5 who admitted to UFO sightings, such as Clyde Tombaugh and Lincoln La Paz. Both Tombaugh and La Paz had multiple sightings.

And the Hynek/Herb Gelb survey for CUFOS of 1800 amateur astronomers found 24% saying they had seen things in the sky they couldn't explain, even higher than the general population.

That astronomers never see UFOs is yet another debunker urban myth.

David Rudiak

cda said...

I agree here. Old observatory records show plenty of examples of unknown objects being seen, even though some of these were probably explained later. And don't forget that the greatest debunker of them all, Donald Menzel, had one (or was it two?) sightings himself which he could not identify. However, these did not stop him being very anti-UFO.

Frank Stalter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Frank Stalter said...

I'd like to hear more about this one, from the four other guys there and especially if someone else in a different location saw the same thing.

It must have been at a very high altitude for it to have been visible if it was hovering somewhere between Bristow and OKC relative to where they were at.

This is a sighting that merits some attention.

Unknown said...

...if one bothers to look it up, one will find that 'anti-Roswell-crash-Mogul-Overlord-crew-cut-guy' Charles B. Moore, Jr. documented sighting a Socorroesque object whilst working on a 'government project' in April 1949...

Eriki said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alfred Lehmberg said...

I suspect Dr. Plait would explain that these were not _real_ astronomers, but mere star enthusiasts sporting soft credulities born of their even softer scientism.

David Rudiak said...

Keith wrote:
"...if one bothers to look it up, one will find that 'anti-Roswell-crash-Mogul-Overlord-crew-cut-guy' Charles B. Moore, Jr. documented sighting a Socorroesque object whilst working on a 'government project' in April 1949..."

Yes, a famous sighting (and rather ironic considering his present-day debunking). His sighting is one of the Blue Book unknowns, and he would be one of the ~1% of BB unknown cases involving astronomers and other professional users of telescopes. Moore viewed the object and tracked it through a theodolite, while they were in preparation for launching one of their balloons.

This wasn't the only UFO sighting by the Project Mogul/Skyhook, etc. people. There were many more, so much so that BB head Ed Ruppelt commented that they were so frequent, they started to ignore them. Also, when he went to talk to the General Mills balloon people up in Minneapolis, Minnesota in Jan. 1952, he joked they nearly threw him outside into a blizzard when he suggested maybe they were seeing their own balloons.

Two other famous balloon UFO case, possibly also involving Moore, occurred Oct. 10 & 11, 1951,
near and St. Croix, Wisconsin during Skyhook balloon flights.

For anyone interested, I have some details on these research balloon UFO sightings on my website:


David Rudiak

number six said...

Pilots, and even truckers, spend waaay more time looking at the sky than astronomers do. THus we have a lot more reports from the former than the later.

When they are observing the sky, astronomers are focusing their scopes millions of light years away, in an extremely narrow field of vision. Self-luminous artificial-looking objects zipping from galaxy to galaxy???? No reports of that, and no suprise either.