July 2, 1960
The UFO evidence describes the event as follows:
July 2, 1960--Nr. Maiquetia, Venezuela. Pilot and crew of Venezuelan Airlines Su- per-Constellation arriving from Spain, reported plane was followed by a luminous UFO. [X]1
Section X gives us some further details but falls short of providing specifics.
July 2, 1960, near Maiquetia, a Venezuelan Airlines Super-Constellation was arriv- ing from Spain about 3:00 a.m. Flying at 10,000 feet about 20 degrees N, 68 degrees W (near Puerto Rico), the pilot and crew noticed a bright luminous object angling toward the plane at about their altitude. After paralleling the plane for several min- utes, the object suddenly shot away at terrific speed. The pilot reported the sighting to the press upon landing.2
The source of this report is Ultimas Noticias; July 3, 1960. I could not find any
articles regarding this event in the newspaper archive but the UFO investigator
of July-August 19603 stated that the duration of the sighting was twenty minutes and not “several”. Project Blue Book did not have any other information regarding this sighting but they did have another sighting at the same time from an observer in San Juan, Puerto Rico.4 This observer reported seeing a UFO, which he described as being “bigger than the biggest star” and “a thin powder puff”moving towards the southeast at a 40 degree angle. After six minutes it faded from sight.
The source of this UFO appears to be man made. The aircraft was flying near Puerto Rico, which is along Cape Canaveral’s Eastern test range. A check of the Astronautix chronology produces the following entry:
1960 July 2 - . 06:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC11. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas D. LV Configuration: Atlas D 60D. Research and development launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,800 km (1,100 mi).5
This indicates the launch time was 2:58 AM EDT/1:58 AM EST. If the aircrew was using the local time of the sighting, they were using AST (Puerto Rico did not observe DST), one hour ahead of EST, which means the time of observation was the same approximate time as the launch. The booster and warhead would have moved towards the southeast just like the San Juan witness described.
While the plane was about 1,000 miles from Cape Canaveral, it was also along the track of the missile, which was launched towards the area near Ascension island (target area was 1.3833 deg S latitude, 12.17 deg W. longitude)4. According to the flight test report
for this launch, the sustainer engine ran longer than normal (308 seconds vice 247 seconds due to a loss of pressure)6. The valve was closed at an altitude of about 225 miles and down range of 538 mi (459nm)7. Based on the track, this is north of San Salvador island in the Bahamas.8 This is about 550 miles northwest of the airplanes position. It would have been a bright light that appeared over the northwest horizon and reached a peak elevation of about 20 degrees at the time of Sustainer Engine cutoff. If the plane was flying in a westerly or southwesterly direction, it would have been off the starboard side of the aircraft. The San Juan observer indicated that the booster was still visible after sustainer engine cutoff as a large white object moving across the sky until 3:24 AM. In my opinion, this is the source of the UFO report and the case can be considered closed unless somebody can provide additional evidence that suggests otherwise.
Quelle: SUNlite 2015 /3