January 4, 1954 - Quantico Virginia
The “UFO evidence” states the following about this case:
January 4, 1954--Quantico, Va. Red revolving or blinking lights, hovering and moving sound- lessly at tree-top height reportedly seen for six nights above Marine Corps base. [IV]1
Going to section IV, we read the following:
Story broke this date that red-lighted UFOs had hovered, maneuvered over base for past six nights2
The source of this story comes from the United Press with no other information being pre- sented. There are no names or details available yet NICAP found it a significant case. Can one consider this “evidence” based on one newspaper clipping? What was so significant about this story that made it worthy of note?
The original story
Iguess the reason that the UFO evidence lists this case is because there were reports of multiple wit- nesses, who were Marines. Marines are considered reliable and trustworthy but that does not guar- antee they reported what transpired accurately. One must understand that the marines that normally stand sentry duty are the lowest ranking and youngest individuals, who might mistake something they were not familiar with as something extraordinary. My first thought about this was that they may have mistook stars scintillating as the tree-top objects. The idea that it was seen six nights in a row usually is an indication of something astronomical.
Since it was military, I figured Blue Book probably was involved. Checking the Fold 3 web site revealed that there was a file but the Blue Book record card was mistakenly dated 31 December 1959. However, the rest of the file comes from January 1954 and included the original story from the Washington Post of January 4, 1954.3 That story described two sentries, who reported the landing of a flying saucer to the Officer of the day. A helicopter was reported to have been sent to find the object and there were rumors of two platoons being sent to capture the flying saucer. The article also mentioned that “higher authorities” were investigating the case.
While this all sounds very interesting, it seems to be the sole source of information that NICAP chose to use as a reference in their document. Like some of the other NICAP cases that I have mentioned in the past, there was an explanation that appeared in the news papers just a few days later that NICAP either missed or ignored.
The Blue Book file has an interesting document that demonstrates that the higher authorities run- ning the investigation were from the USAF and the base Public Information Officer (Major Fergus- en) at Quantico. Since the UFOs had appeared over the previous three nights, Major Glasebrook from intelligence, went to Quantico on the evening of the fourth to see what the fuss was about.
BB described what transpired:
At 1945 hours a Marine corporal reported that the phenomena was appearing again. Maj. Glasebrook and Maj. Fergusen went outside and observed a flashing red light which appeared in the north and passed over the northeast section of the Danger area in southeasterly direction. It was rapidly apparent that this was a Grimes Beacon on a commercial air liner as Maj Glasebrook could see both wing tip identification lights at one time, in addition to the Grimes Beacon. 4
On January 5th and 6th, numerous papers published a story stating the Marines had solved the mys- tery.5 The article in the Washington Evening Star had the most information.6 Apparently, airliners had installed a new flashing red light, called a Grimes light, on them. The young Marines on sentry duty, as well as some sergeants/corporals, were unaware of this lighting and it confused them into thinking they were seeing a flying saucer instead of an airplane.
NICAP drops the ball.....again
For an organization that promoted the idea that UFOs were being covered up by the government and Air Force, it sure looks like NICAP was just as guilty of “covering up”. Either they chose not to read any stories that appeared after the initial sighting or they simply refused to admit that there was a rational explanation. This means they were incompetent or deceptive. I guess it is a case of the ends justifying the means. By ignoring or not mentioning the solutions, they could pad their document with a whole bunch of cases that others would simply accept as proof of alien visitation. However, the inclusion of such weak cases indicates that they were blinded by their beliefs instead of examining each case critically.Quelle: SUNlite 3/2013