The 701 club: Case 11394 February 20, 1967
Don Berlinner describes the case as:
Feb. 20, 1967; Oxford, Wisconsin. 3:10 a.m. Witness: USAF veteran/truck driver Stanton Summer. One orange-red object flew parallel to truck for 2 minutes.1
Looking at Brad Sparks list, we see the same description and nothing more. There seems to be little examination of the case beyond the simple listing of it as “unknown”.
The Blue Book file
The Blue Book file is not very informative and can be misleading. According to the BB record card and the TELEX, the object ap- proached the truck, paralleled the truck’s travel, and then flew towards the east. However, this is not what the eyewitness report actually states. Details from the report indicate::
The duration was 2 minutes and 30 seconds2
It was as bright as the waning moon on a hot summer evening.3
The object was fuzzy/blurry and was compared to an oval water tower reflecting sunlight.4
The object was orange with a bright red light on top.5
Sky conditions were clear, a few stars were visible, and there was no moon.6
It disappeared behind some trees7
The truck was driving west.8
The object appeared in the northwest at an elevation of about 60 degrees. It disappeared to the north at angle of elevation of approximately 30 degrees.9
The driver made his oral report from New Lisbon, Wisconsin at a truck stop.10
The report was completed on 4 March 196711
These details disagree with the TELEX, which means that either the communications made over the phone were not clear or the witness altered his report.
Recreating the conditions
The message states he was located 1-1/2 miles east of Oxford.12 Exactly how accurate that estimate is, we don’t know. It seems the best one can say is he had not arrived in the town of Oxford yet and was located somewhere on Route 82 between Interstate 39 and downtown Oxford.
Sky conditions are confusing because the witness reported the sky was clear but the TELEX states it was cloudy. 13 A check of weath- er underground reveals conditions of either light snow or fog depending on the location. Madison, Wisconsin reported clear skies starting at 9AM.13 At best, the sky conditions were mostly cloudy with a few bright stars being visible.
In most of these cases, I usually check to see if there were astronomical objects visible that might produce the event. I was sur- prised to see that the moon was low in the West-northwest at 3:10 AM. At the time of the observation the moon was at an azimuth of 300 degrees and an elevation of 8 degrees. The moon would set around 4AM.
How does the moon move across the sky from northwest to north? It really isn’t that hard when one looks at the road the driver was located. After traveling due west on route 82, the road takes a turn towards the west-southwest. If the witness was observing the UFO, he might not have realized the gradual turn in the road and thought he was traveling due west. Since the moon would shift position further to his right by about 20 degrees relative to the front of the vehicle, it would appear the moon had moved towards the north.
The only problem with the moon explanation is the condition of the sky. While conditions indicate an overcast sky, the witness recalled seeing stars during his drive, which implies it was not a complete overcast. Assuming this is true, the setting moon could have become visible for a few minutes. When it went behind the trees, the witness lost sight of it. Once he made it to a clearing where he could see the moon again, it had disappeared behind clouds.
It is important to note the witness compared the brightness of the UFO to the waning moon on a hot summer evening. This indi- cates it was like the moon under hazy conditions. The “fuzzy” description is also indicative of the moon seen under conditions that were not clear. It might have looked like this image I took of the waxing Gibbous moon on December 11, 2016 a few hours before a winter storm started. Manchester weather observations at the time stated that the skies were “Overcast”.
These seem to be the kind of the conditions the witness may have encountered in 1967, which indicates the moon could be the possible source.
This case has a potential solution but, without a good time machine, we can’t positively solve it. That being said, there is still.
Quelle: SUNlite 1/2017