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Book Review:
"On Pilots and UFOs"
by Dr. Willy Smith
Foreword by Richard F. Haines

Review by P. Myers

On November 23, 1953 an F89C of the 433rd Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Kinross AFB, Michigan was directed by radar controllers to descend from 25,000 feet to 7000 feet to intercept an unknown target over Lake Superior. As the two blips merged on the radar screen both radio and radar contact were lost with the aircraft and it was never seen again despite extensive searches.

The two interesting aspects of this case are firstly, that the whole procedure of interception was initiated by the appearance of an unknown intruder on USAF radar. Secondly that although the F89C and intruder were obviously in close proximity prior to being lost on radar, the USAF has never released the extracts of the taped conversations between pilot and controllers.

This incident and several others described in Dr. Willy Smith's book provides a representative sample from the UNICAT PROJECT of interaction over the years between pilots and UFOs. Most of the related encounters are pilot witness accounts. For me the book would have been just as interesting if it dealt with the interaction of ferryboat captains or school teachers and UFOs. However, I guess the point that most make is that pilots are more likely to observe aerial phenomena and that because they are more experienced with airborne visual observations than most they tend to be credible witnesses.

The UNICAT PROJECT was started in 1984 by J. Allen Hynek and Willy Smith. The aim of the project is to accurately document, using specific criteria and tight parameters, high quality UFO reports. Smith believes that by being selective in his acceptance of material for cataloguing, his results will be more acceptable to the scientific community.

There are currently about 825 cases entered on the database with a second database used to store material that is not of sufficient standard. This secondary material can be upgraded with the introduction of new evidence/information.

Those people who met Dr Smith during his Australian visit, perhaps at the talk he provided for VUFORS members, will realize he is a man with little tolerance for time wasters and debunkers. This is reflected in his writing style, which is at times a little abrasive. However the point must be made that too much light entertainment for television and print is derived from the UFO phenomena and Dr Smith's book provides us with the opportunity to reorientate and escape the frivolous.

To purchase this book, write to :-

8011 SW 189th Street
Miami, FL 33157

Price: US Dollars $12 95

Last Updated: January, 1999
Copyright © 1996 Victorian U.F.O. Research Society Inc.
P.O. Box 1043 Moorabbin Victoria, Australia 3189
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