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On The UFO Trail
June 1997

By Paul Norman
© Copyright 1997.

A book on pilots and UFO's has just been published, authored by Dr. Willy Smith of the Unicat Project. It is entitled ON PILOTS AND UFOs.

Most of the cases analyzed in this book refer to interaction of pilots and unidentified flying objects, and all but one are taken from the Blue Book project MICROFILM. Some of the incidents have never been published, and the collection provides a good example of how the UFO phenomenon was handled by the United States Air Force.

The official files of the Spanish Air Force are the source for the additional incident, which illustrates that the U.S. Air Force is not alone in its futile attempts to dismiss the UFO phenomenon as irrelevant.

After expressing his scepticism because of the prevalence of hoaxes and frauds, many times sponsored by ufologists, which today rivet the attention of TV audiences, has made him very cautious regarding the ‘genuineness’ of present day cases.

He then begins to take apart the explanations of sceptics who try to debunk genuine cases from project Blue Book. Willy Smith has been in possession of the microfilm for many years. He says the files show him how the initial reports were sent to the ATIC (Air Technical Intelligence Centre), where the process of disinformation was initiated. Documents were ordered to be removed and they are no longer in the files but, fortunately in many other cases, the letters providing the instructions are still there. Complete dossiers are missing. All we find now are CRYPTIC statements -FILE MISSING-!

As an example I have selected the Capt. Killian incident over Pennsylvania, because it is one of the better known incidents among ufologists and I was in Tennessee investigating a case at the same time.

The Killian Case not only received official attention, but was also extensively discussed by both serious ufologist Hall, 1964; Good in 1987 and the debunker Menzel in 1963.

The encounter occurred on the night of February 24, 1959, when an American Airlines flight from Newark, New Jersey to Detroit, Michigan reported three lights over Pennsylvania at 8.20 pm for 40 minutes. The lights were also seen from at least two other flights further to the south, as well as by the tower operators in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The first debunking explanation was that it was a fuelling operation. Before Capt. Killian was silenced, he provided a lot of information proving it was not a refuelling exercise as they were not at the authorised altitude at which these operations took place.

The case made headlines and threw the Air Force into a frenzy with several accusations including "those who report flying saucers have had one drink too many"! However, a scientific and more detailed re-examination of the files revealed that the Air Force was more eager to produce an excuse rather than what actually happened. Willy Smith gives many reasons in his book which proved this encounter was not a fuelling operation.

As a result of this case, a group of Airline pilots held a meeting in Dayton, Ohio, in protest. The spokesman for the pilots stated:

"we report cases such as these and when we land, we are interviewed for hours. We are tired and want to get home to our families. We are threatened not to make statements and told that the thing that paced our aircraft for fifteen minutes was a bolt of lightning". He said "nuts to this big brother attitude, who needs it".

Another said he would not report any if they were flying wing tip formation. The Capt. Killian encounter occurred during the time of other reports including a case I was checking in Tennessee.

A motorist and his wife were driving toward Nashville when the wife noticed a bright speeding light travelling from south to north in fifteen seconds. When they looked back, another similar one was hovering to their left about two miles ahead, then a third identical light sped north, following the same path as the first. The one that was hovering instantaneously followed the other two, speeding north.

A few days later. I visited a radar operator at the nearby Joelton radar station and told him of the couples report. He replied that the man and his wife were telling the truth because the Joelton radar station and the radar at Sewart Air Force Base blacked out as the objects flew about half way between the Station and Base.

Some six months later, I met up with a pilot who knew of the incident and said the sky was full of interceptors that same night, trying to determine what was going on.

The book is available at book stores in the U.S., but can be purchased for US $17.00 including postage and handling from:

Dr. Willy Smith,
The UNICAT Project,
8011 S.W. 189th Street,
Miami, Florida, 33157. U.S.A.


Last Updated: March, 1998

Copyright © 1996 Victorian U.F.O. Research Society Inc.

P.O. Box 1043 Moorabbin Victoria, Australia 3189

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