MUFON UFO Journal - 1986 10. October

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    (ISSN 0270-6822)103 Oldtowne Rd.

    Seguin, Texas 78155-4099 U.S.A.


    WALTER H. ANDRUS, JR.Internationa) Director and

    Associate EditorTHOMAS P. DEULEY

    Art DirectorMILDRED BESELEContributing Editor

    ANNDRUFFELContributing Editor

    PAUL CERNYPromotion/Publicity

    MARGE CHRISTENSENPublic Relations


    Books/Periodicals/HistoryROSETTA HOLMESPromotion/PublicityT. SCOTT CHAIN

    GREG LONGStaff Writer


    Staff ArtistsTED PHILLIPS

    Landing Trace CasesJOHN F. SCHUESSLER


    UFO Crash/RetrievalWALTER N. WEBB

    AstronomyNORMA E. SHORT



    Editor/Publishers Emeritus(Formerly SKYLOOK)

    The MUFON UFO JOURNAL ispublished by the Mutual UFONetwork, Inc., Seguin, Texas.Membership/Subscription rates:$25.00 per year in the U.S.A.; $30.00foreign in U.S. funds. Copyright 1986by the Mutual UFO Network. Secondclass postage paid at Seguin, Texas.POSTMASTER: Send form 3579 toadvise change of address to TheMUFON UFO JOURNAL, 103Oldtowne Rd., Seguin, Texas 78155-4099.

    FROM THE EDITORThe spiraling "UFO" that dazzled the New England seaboard

    this summer was rapidly identified as an experimental Japanesesatellite by both skeptics and ufologists. Articles from both sides ofthe fence are presented to show how the sources and techniques ofeach led to a quick solution of what otherwise might have been asource of some controversy. We thank Walter Webb and StanGordon, too, who also responded promptly with articles on thesame series of sightings. Unfortunately, only so much space can bedevoted to the subject-

    Inside, we look at a number of other recent American UFOreports which were not so readily solved, including updates onPetaluma and Cash-Landrum. Next issue we'll have two morearticles that review Brazilian UFOs authored by New York-basedjournalist Antonio Huneeus and veteran researcher Irene Granchi.Meanwhile, apologies to our readers for the lateness of this issue,due to circumstances beyond our control. Some contributors willalso be disappointed to learn their articles have been delayed untilnext month. To offset some of the imbalance we have included theNight Sky for both October and November.

    In this issueEAST COAST "UFO" IDENTIFIED by Walt Andrus 3UFO FOR A DAY by James Oberg 5BANKSONS LAKE UFO by Virginia Tilly 7A SENSE OF AWE by Willard D. Nelson 8FLOATING UFOs by Herbert S. Taylor 9NEWS 'N' VIEWS i 10CASH-LANDRUM CASE CLOSED? by John Schuessler 12PIPELINE PROGRESS by Marge Christensen 13IN OTHER'S WORDS by Lucius Parish 14LETTERS 15NIGHT SKY(October) by Walter Webb 17NIGHT SKY (November) by Walter Webb 18DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE by Walt Andrus 20COVER Courtesy NASA

    The Mutual UFO Network, Inc. is exempt from Federal Income Tax underSection 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. MUFON is a publiclysupported organization of the type described in Section 509(a)(2). Donorsmay deduct contributions from their Federal income tax. In addition,bequests, legacies, devises, transfers, or gifts are deductible for Federalestate and gift tax purposes if they meet the applicable provisions ofSections 2055, 2106, and 2522 of the code.

    The contents of the MUFON UFO JOURNAL are determined by the editor, and donot necessarily represent the official position of MUFON. Opinions of contributorsare their own, and do not necessarily reflect those of the editor, the staff, or MUFON.Articles may be forwarded directly to MUFON. Responses to published articles maybe in a Letter to the Editor (up to about 400 words) or in a short article (up to about2,000 words). Thereafter, the "50% rule" is applied: the article author may reply butwill be albwed half the wordage used in the response; the responder may answer theauthor but will be allowed half the wordage used in the author's reply, etc. Allsubmissions are subject to editing for style, clarity, and conciseness.Permission is hereby granted to quote from this issue provided not more than 200words are quoted from any one article, the author of the article is given credit, and thestatement "Copyright 1986 by the Mutual UFO Network, 103 Oldtowne Rd., Seguin,Texas 78155" is included.


    . . . . B y Walt Andrus ,

    Walt Andrus, MUFON's interna-tional director, lives in Seguin,Texas. "; . ' . , . , ' .

    Robert Gribble at the NationalUFO Reporting Center (1-206-722-3000) in Seattle, Washington received100 telephone calls during the eveningof August 12,1986 from throughout theeastern U.S.A., reporting an unusuallighted object moving from southwestto northeast. An F.A.A. .Air TrafficController in Syracuse, New York:stated to the press that he thought itwas an unidentified flying object.Observed through binoculars, other

    witnesses in Portland, Maine . and'Syracuse, New York told Bob Gribblethat the object was a white light headingnortheast as if propelled by a rocket in a"cork screw" fashion. The press wireservices; distributed the reportthroughout the nation, creatingconsiderable excitement.

    When Bob summarized hisreports, he found that the object wasobserved from 9:50 pm to 10:10 pmEDSTi Witnesses in the southernstates reported the direction assoutheast, whereas those in thenorthern states observed it in the eastand northeast sky. Due to the locationof the Goddard Space Flight Center'sWallops Flight Facility on Virginia'seastern shore where rocketbornescientific experiments are conducted,this became the first target in theinvestigation. Bob Gribble immediatelycontacted this facility and found thatdue to inclement weather they had notlaunched the rockets that werescheduled that,evening.

    Walt Andrus called Joyce B.Milliner in the Office of Public Affairs,NASA Goddard Space Flight Center,Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island,VA 23337, who confirmed that therewere no rocket launches on the eveningof August 12th from that location. Thetwo launches scheduled for August 12were also "scrubbed" for'August 13th.

    Walter H. Andrus, Jr.

    Since Joyce B. Milliner has regularlysupplied MUFON with news releasesprior to planned rocketborne scientificexperiments, she was very cooperative

    .during this telephone conversation inresolving what had been observed.

    Mr. Virgil Gardner at the LaserNetwork Operations, NASA GoddardSpace Flight Center, Greenbelt,Maryland identified the object to MissMilliner, since he was involved in laserexperiments in conjunction with theobject. Mr. Gardner said it was aJapanese Experimental GeodeticSatellite launched from Japan onAugust 12th (Japanese date and time)that was placed in a 932-mile high orbitand scheduled to pass over the eastcoast of the U.S.A. at approximately 10pm EDST. The,. 6-foot diameter, globe-shaped satellite is covered with 318individual mirrors on its surface andwas rotating at 40 r.p.m. Due to itsheight, the sun was reflecting from the

    mirrors providing .the illumination andthe corkscrew cloud . noted by mostwitnesses. Obviously the light reflectedfrom the satellite mirrors waseliminated when it ' passed into theshadow of the E a r t h on itsnortheastward trajectory.


    The screw-shaped cloud observedwas the "dumping" .of unused liquid

    1, hydrogen , fuel from the launchingrocket booster.-Mr. Gardner and thepeople at the Laser NetworkOperations were tracking the satellitefrom Greenbelt, Maryland with lasersas part of a . global cooperativeexperiment.

    Even 'though the object must nowbe classified. as an IFO after theinvestigation, 100 long .distancetelephone calls from the MississippiRiver to the east coast is' strongassurance that Bob Cribble's NationalUFO.Reporting Center is an effectivetool in obtaining UFO sighting reportsnationwide. (Even one of the astronautsflying a T-38 near Houston, Texasobserved the object per JohnSchuessler.) 100 pre-paid telephonecalls is gratifying evidence that thegeneral public still has an interestin space and UFQs. Walt Andrus gaveMiss Milliner the address of the Centerfor UFO Studies and asked. thatCUFO$ also be placed on the newsrelease mailing list from Wallops .Island.

    We appreciate the manynewspaper clippings and personalsighting reports submitted to MUFQNon this sighting. Dana M. Schmidt,State Section Director in New York,interviewed several witnesses in theRochester area. Richard D- Seifried,State Director for Ohio in Daytonreceived numerous inquiries.

    Eugene Witkowski, an amateurastronomer for 25 years in Buffalo, New

    (continued next page)

  • EAST COAST, Continued

    York, provided a very detailedeyewitness report in his letter. Whileobserving Mars in the "handle" of theteapot Sagittarius, Eugene's attentionwas caught by a first magnitude objectjust to the north and west of Mars(about 2 degrees NW). It wasapproximately 16 degrees above thesouth horizon and 3 degrees to the eastof due south. It had the appearance of asmall comet with a short tail pointingdirectly west. Through his 7 x 50binoculars he saw a point source of lightwith a jet of vapor emanating from itinto a spiral shape. He thought the pointsource of light was rotating counter-clockwise at a slow rate of speed.

    The angular size grew to 3/4degree within the first 30 seconds. The"gas" was a very bright yellowish colorwhen viewed through binoculars as itwas being expelled from the star-likeobject and its intensity fell off withdistance becomin