Archive for July 7th, 2011
One of the very first articles posted on this site was a comprehensive piece titled “UFOs during the Vietnam War,” which included both first and second-hand accounts collected by me and evidence from documents and official statements released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). These included the famous October 1973 remarks by General George S. Brown, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, that UFOs sighted in Vietnam “weren’t called UFOs. They were called enemy helicopters.”
Now, thanks to the blog of Dr. David Clarke – Folklore and Journalism, a professor of journalism at Sheffield Hallam University who works closely with the British Ministry of Defence on their periodic release of UFO files, I found a new fascinating UFO case reported during the Vietnam War. This one is particularly interesting because it involves an apparent landing of an egg-shaped object on January 6, 1969 at a major American military base in Indochina, the Chu Lai harbor on the China Sea about 40 miles southeast of Da Nang. It’s also quite significant that the discovery was made by Joe Gillette, an archivist with the U.S. National Archives and reported in their official blog titled, “The Text Message – The Blog of the Textual Archives Services Division at the National Archives.” The title of the piece written by Gillette, posted on June 6, 2011, is quite telling: “No Enemy Contact, but Alien Contact…”
“shaped like a big egg”
Joe Gillette’s blog begins his article by explaining that, “during the Vietnam War, American army commands maintained daily journals documenting assorted events. Most entries were relatively mundane, documenting staff meetings, personnel travel, incoming or outgoing messages, and the like. Some were more administratively significant, such as changes in command, the awarding of medals, or the filing of reports. Naturally, many contain descriptions of combat against the enemy. Then there are entries that more closely resemble an episode of the X-Files than a war movie.”
One particular entry in this “X-Files” category appeared in “the January 6, 1969 daily journal of the 23rd Infantry Division’s Chu Lai Defense Command.” Gillette adds that “base defenses included a system of numbered observation towers ringing the base” which “routinely reported anything unusual or potentially threatening to the base.” Precisely at 0152 (1:52 am), one of these Towers, “Twr 72,” made the following tantalizing entry on that day’s journal records:
Twr 72 rpts [reports] object flying into their area about 700m infront [sic] of them, AZ 310°. Object came in slow over the ASP [Ammunition Supply Point] & landed. When object moves it has a glowing light. It is about 15 – 20 ft across. It is shaped like a big egg. Control twr rpts their radar did not pick anything up. Object also does not seem to have any sound to it when it moves.
Gillette adds that “the only logged follow-up action was notification of the Duty Officer” and that no other data about the incident is contained in the records. “Peculiarly (if one is conspiratorially-inclined),” he continues, “the journals for the next two days, January 7 & 8, are missing.” Dr. Clarke elaborates a bit further on the mystery of the missing records in his blog: “Those looking for evidence of a cover-up will no doubt find significance in the fact that journals for the next two days, 7 & 8 January, are missing. But past experience has shown that ‘missing files’ are often only significant when seen in hindsight (the military regularly lose bits of paper, as everyone else does).”
Gillette’s analysis of the case
Joe Gillette ends his piece by analyzing all the possible conventional explanations that could have triggered such an unusual report, such as flares or drug use, although he doesn’t find them particularly convincing. His analysis is worth quoting in full:
Possible conventional explanations for the sighting exist. Tracer rounds and flares both create illumination. But tracer rounds don’t float to the ground and certainly aren’t shaped like an ‘egg’, and flares might float to the ground, but aren’t egg shaped either. Additionally, drug use by soldiers, particularly by 1969, was a known problem in Vietnam. But two or more soldiers typically manned these towers. Assuming this was a drug-induced vision, it’s difficult to imagine they each experienced the same hallucination, although if they were observing something they could not readily identify, one might have convinced the others they were seeing a UFO. Boredom too could have resulted in a bout of creative storytelling, but if discovered, the soldiers risked disciplinary action. So while potential conventional explanations exist for both the sighting and the report, nothing in the journals tells us which of those might have been at work.
The truth may be out there, but it isn’t in these records.
Although the log entry is quite short, some of the characteristics described do match those of UFOs reported elsewhere in the literature. The unnamed soldiers state the object was flying slow just before it landed and that it had “a glowing light.” It was not picked up by radar (common in many UFO cases and now available also in military stealth technology) and it didn’t make any sound—common again in countless UFO sightings. The object’s egg-shape, if not the most typical, can certainly be found in ufological records. One famous case that comes to mind is the Socorro, New Mexico, landing of April 1964 reported by policeman Lonnie Zamora, which was definitely shaped like an egg, and there are many others in the UFO annals.
The Chu Lai base
Another blog titled “Chu Lai Coastal Division 16” provides some basic facts and history about this key wartime facility: “The primary US Navy activity at Chu Lai was the logistics support for both the Marine Air Units and Army Americal Division. This was accomplished by material offloading of supplies from LST and other small cargo vessels proceeding from the larger ports at Da Nang, Qui Nhon and Cam Ranh Bay. The provisions for the Swift Boat contingent formed a minor portion of that material support.” As for its history, the blog informs that “the words ‘Chu Lai’ are not Vietnamese, but a Mandarin Chinese abbreviation for the family name of US Marine General Victor Krulak, who selected the area around Dung Quat Bay for construction of an air field and base to supplement the major facility at Da Nang. When told by his staff that the area had no name associated with it on the maps of the day, he immediately decided that it would be called Chu Lai. Rank has its privileges. The new Vietnamese government has continued to maintain both the facility and its name.”
A “Unit History” of the 198th Infantry Brigade adds that Chu Lai served, among other things, as “the headquarters of the Americal Division. The sprawling base complex utilizes some 17,000 men and provide the necessary logistical support to the infantrymen in the field.” The 23rd Infantry Division, better known as the Americal Division of the U.S. Army, traced its history to World War II when it was created in 1942 in the jungles of the island of New Caledonia, later playing a key role during the Vietnam War.
Whether we’ll get additional data on this fascinating 1969 landing incident in Chu Lai is probably unlikely, but hopefully some of the witnesses (the record is unclear but there must have been at least a few) will come forward at some point, or perhaps additional documents will be discovered. However, the mere fact that this case of “Alien Contact” was discovered and posted in an official website of the National Archives is already quite significant. Let’s hope that other UFO incidents will continue to be posted in the future.
About 10 pm, my grandfather and I (witnesses B and A, respectively on audio recording of interview) witnessed 2 cases or possibly 3 of OBOLs during the july 4th fireworks display. I video’d the event, and made a dvd for the field investigator that visited my house to conduct an interview. The Orange light appeared behind the fireworks and proceeded to pass over the car. I did have it on video. The second time, the orb came over and my attention was drawn to it by a 4th witness, passing the car. I proceeded to get out of the car, and used my phone’s camera to record the object until it left view. I perceived it to be a light the could be flaming.
The daytime UFO sighting filmed in Georgia has an unusual appearance [Video]
The UFO filmed in the State of Georgia on July 7, 2011 appears different from the typical glowing orb or disc-shaped UFOs usually documented on video. This new video from the UFO Global Reporting Center is just under a minute long and seems to show a …
APNewsBreak: WikiLeaks getting credit card funds
More>> By RAPHAEL G. SATTER Associated Press LONDON (AP) – WikiLeaks has again begun accepting credit card donations, a company affiliated with the secret-spilling site said Thursday. Andreas Fink, the chief executive of Icelandic payment processor …
CNN airs live video of UFOs in Arizona dust storm [video]
UFO sightings during natural or manmade disasters are not uncommon. UFOs were reported in Japan preceding, during, and following the recent earthquake and subsequent tsunami there. One of the alleged UFOs reported to be visible in a news video at the …
|Depiction- “Lights over DC” by SW/LITS|
Two sisters report seeing “balls of light” moving in a rapid and erratic circular pattern.
Here is that unedited report, as it was submitted to MUFON.
MUFON Case # 30028
Location: District Of Columbia
Vallee Index: CE3
I lay down on my left side facing the large panoramic windows in my bedroom. Even with my very impaired vision, I immediately became aware of some lights moving in the sky in a way I’d never seen before. I immediately sat up, retrieved my glasses from the night table, and put them on. Outside my window and over Rock Creek Park and a large residential building across the street, balls of light were moving rapidly and a bit jerkily in an oval-shaped counterclockwise pattern.
It’s difficult to say exactly how many there were, but I believe that four individual lights would be a good estimate. After watching them for a stunned minute or two, I got out of bed, and went next door to get my sister. Together we stood at the window and watched this light show for approximately five minutes. Towards the end, the lights seemed to simply fade away through the heavy cloud cover until there was only one left. That light eventually faded as well. I did not look at the clock again until after my sister left. The time was 10:58.
Though I’ve called them “balls” of light, they weren’t perfectly spherical. There was no hard edge to them, though I do believe there was a brighter intensity at the center of each. During the entire event, they kept moving in the same circular pattern – very, very rapidly and very, very erratically, Though pinpointing precisely where they were is tough, I recall that my sister and I both stooped a bit to get a full view of the “show”. (I usually have the blinds in my bedroom about 1/3 of the way down.) I forgot until Saturday evening when I turned on my television and my TiVo that I had recorded during the exact time of the event. Because I’m very sure that it was the second burst of static that caused me to turn off the television, I can time the start of the event (using the TiVo clock) at precisely 10:42.
In retrospect, the static on the television is very interesting. Our cable service is very reliable here and is not affected by the weather at all. Neither my sister nor I can ever recall seeing bursts of static since we’ve had this service (more than four years) and they are dramatic. Both are preserved on my TiVo.
Witness Two: On the evening of Friday, 5/21/04 I was in my bedroom reading. A very powerful thunderstorm had been right over our building for approximately ten minutes when my sister came into my room and asked me to come look at something. I glanced at the clock and noted that it was 10:46PM. She asked me to look out the window in her bedroom at the sky over Rock Creek Park. I saw at different times 1, 2, 3, or 4 blurry, yet distinct white lights moving counterclockwise in an apparent oval shaped orbit. The cloud cover was heavy, but my perception was that the lights were within or circling one particular cloud. The lightning was intense and lit up the entire sky several times as we watched the lights. The lights moved constantly in an erratic, jerky fashion, seemingly unaffected by the lightning. Their movement appeared ghostly to me and I thought of Casper cartoons. Their shape is harder to describe. Narrow at the bottom and wider at the top is close – almost torch-like with indistinct edges. It was my impression that their blurry, undefined appearance was due to the cloud cover and extremely hazy skies. After about ten minutes the intensity of brightness dimmed and I realized that only one light was still visible as it gradually disappeared. The storm raged on for another few minutes. My sister and I talked for a minute or two and I went back to my room at approximately 11:00PM.
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- Crop Circles: The costs and benefits of rural mysticism – The Economist
- Chalk and cheese: the baffling marriage of TV presenters with their subjects – The Guardian
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