The source of this information is from the project 1947 files, Richard Hall’s files, and True flying saucers and UFO quarterly number 4. The table summarizes the event as, “A disc emitting a bright orange light became dark red when climbing at great speed.“1
I did not waste time trying to look for the Project 1947 files and the True magazine for the information. The project 1947 files are not easily accessible and I have had little luck in getting Aldrich to supply information when I requested it in the past. The True Magazine article probably might be informative but it is also not readily available. I decided to start with NICAP, since most of Hall’s files would be found there. The NICAP chronology stated2:
Aug. 14, 1975; Stockton, CA
9:35 p.m. Dan Long, a controller at Stockton Metropolitan Airport, sighted a UFO. He stated that the disc-shaped object was at an altitude of about 2000 feet. The disc then moved upward while emitting a glow of green tinted smoke and flashing lights red lights. Mr. Gary Duran and two friends also the same object while walking near the airport. UFOs have been sighted for a two week period throughout Stockton, San Jose-Gilroy area by numerous witnesses. (Reference: UFO INVESTIGATOR, October 1975, page 3; NICAP UFO Evidence II, Sections III, IX).2
I examined the UFO investigator and it gave the following account:
August 14, 1975-Stockton, California. Dan Long, a controller at Stockton Metro Airport, sighted a UFO at 9:35 pm. He stated that the disc shaped object was at an altitude of about 2000 feet. The disc then moved upward while emitting a glow of green tinted smoke and flashing red lights.
Mr. Gary Duran and two friends also saw the same object while walking near the airport.
UFOs have been sighted for a two week period throughout the Stockton, San Jose-Gilroyarea by numerous witnesses.3
Further investigation revealed that NICAP simply copied what was published in the local news media. The Oakland Tribune and other newspapers had the same story with no additional information.4
I went further and examined Robert Hall’s UFO Evidence volume 2. His summary states:
Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers at airport observed red-orange disc, gray mist formed, object shot out of sight.5
The table in section III states:
Disc, red-orange glow, flashing lights; made erratic motions, shot straight up.6
There is a footnote, which reads:
During the sighting a gray mist formed around the UFO, and it darted around in various directions, finally departing straight upward.7
Section IX is just a statement noting the gray mist forming.8 All of this information seems to come from the short news story published by the Associated Press.
I suspect that the Aldrich files and True Magazine article would probably have used the same source.
It is interesting to note that the description in Hall’s book changed from the initial report. Originally, the object was described as a disc emitting a green glow and it had red flashing lights. The object then evolved into a red-orange glow with flashing lights. Not a significant difference but it is a difference nonetheless. Exactly why Hall changed the description is unknown. He lists no source to follow.
What is missing in all of these descriptions is the positional data. Not once, do we read about a direction the object was visible! It is hard to evaluate any case without getting the specific information about the sighting. All of the information seems to be traced back to the one news article. This means that there was no follow-up investigation or, if there was one, it was poorly done. This makes me want to classify this as insufficient data and be done with it. However, there is a reason I wanted to look at this in the first case since it had a potential explanation.
At 09:25 PM PDT, Vandenberg launched a Minuteman II missile.9 Astronomical twilight ended about 09:40 PM, which means the high altitude trail would have been illuminated by the sun as it gotten higher in the sky. One can see the kinds of trails produced by Minutemen II missiles on the socal-skylights website.10
Everything about this sighting indicates the Minuteman II missile launch is the likely source. The time being listed as 0935 PM PDT is not that significant an issue. Times of sightings can vary a few minutes since they are not measured using precise instruments. The distance from Stockton to Vandenberg was about 180nm. For a night launch, this is well within the area of visibility. The October 2, 1999 Minuteman II launch was visible from Henderson, Nevada (over 300nm away) and displayed all sorts of colorful mists/contrails. 11
As for the flashing red lights, all one has to do is look at this video (go to time 0:53)12 to see the staging event and see how that description might apply.
In my opinion, this case should be classified as a possible Minuteman II missile launch. The only reason it cannot be positively classified as such is because of the lack of specific information. If one were to be really fussy about the classification, it probably would listed as insufficient information. In either case, the listing of this case as something important in the study of UFOs is incorrect. It is just another instance of padding the list with a worthless, and probably explicable, case. It needs to be removed from the list.
Quelle: SUNlite 4/2021