701 Club: Case 3893 December 21, 1955 Caribou Maine
Don Berlinner describes this case as:
Dec. 21, 1955; Caribou, Maine. 11 p.m. Witness: Roberta V. Jacobs. One round, very bright gold, domed disc made a short climb, rotat- ed, hovered and then accelerated during the 6-8 minute sighting.1
The case sounded very interesting and I was glad to see that the witness gave us some details of their sighting.
The witness report
The case file indicates that no investigation was conducted. All that is included is the standard reporting form completed by the witness two months after the event.
The witness gave some directions and angles of elevations that might be useful. They stated that it was initially seen in the South- west and it disappeared in the southeast. The object also appears to have risen a bit during the observation. This seems to be helpful but the sketch of the sighting by the witness did not indicate the object moved across 90 degrees of sky towards the east. It shows the object staying in the same direction and rising just a bit. It is possible the witness meant to circle the Southwest direc- tion instead of the Southeast direction based on this information. This became clear in the witness’ sketch of the UFO’s location in relation to her home.2
This shows the object being to the West-Southwest or Southwest. The witness also stated that the object was low (and not the 45 degree elevation given in her report form) about the same elevation as the middle of the barn roof, which appears to have been a significant distance away (being separated between the house by a garage).
The witness’ description of the event reveals some details about the sighting that may be important3:
The brightness was similar to the sun only it wasn’t hard on my eyes
I just turned out my kitchen light to go to bed. I saw this red glare. I thought it was a fire on the Washburn Road. So I thought i would wait and if I could see the flames...Then it got brighter and brighter, so bright it just couldn’t seem to get any brighter, And then it just came right out of the sky.
It either came from behind a cloud or the light was so bright it showed miles ahead of the ship.
I could see the flat bottom part going round and round real fast. Almost to fast for the eyes to see it.
I thought it was a spaceship.
The witness later stated that the object was in the direction of the lake.
She woke up her husband and he came downstairs to see what his wife was so excited about. According to the witness4:
He took one look at it and said, it was the moon.
Mrs. Jacobs was not happy with her husband’s response and then went on to talk about how she felt something living was in the craft and they were observing her. She then went to bed.
To perform a check to see if it was the moon, Roberta looked out her window at 11 PM on December 24th. Her observation was5:
...it was no where near where I saw the object. It was straight up from our back yard.
On the 26th, her husband began to doubt his identification of the UFO as the moon because he wasn’t sure that he got a good look at it. He then concludes that it could not have been the moon.
It seems that one has to wonder about some of the descriptions given by the witness and the husband’s initial observation. Could the object have been the moon? There are several factors that indicate it may have been the moon:
Moonset was about 11:28 PM EST Azimuth 275 degrees
The moon was only a few degrees above the western horizon at 11 PM. In her sketch of the surroundings, she implied the UFO was “low”.
The first quarter moon would have illuminated the area of the sky near moonset. With such a low angle of elevation, it would have appeared gold, orange, or possibly red.
With a low elevation angle the first quarter moon could appear distorted and odd-shaped. It might have also wavered depend- ing on the atmospheric conditions.
The moon would have been the brightest thing in the sky and could appear to be like the sun to a person in the dark.
On the 24th, when the witness wanted to check if it could have been the moon, it was also visible from her window but much high- er in the sky. This is what one would expect. On the night of the 24th, at 11 PM, the moon was at an azimuth of 252 degrees and
elevation 37 degrees (see image above).
Arguments against the moon hypothesis
The witness said the object rose a few degrees in 6-8 minutes. The moon was setting.
The witness direction of observation states it was to the Southwest.
The witness states it could not be the moon
The witness gives a description that is not what one would expect for the moon.
I don’t consider any of these arguments to be that serious an argument against the moon hypothesis. Witnesses can confuse direc- tions and how much motion could have been seen. Descriptions can also be skewed by a witness’ beliefs/perceptions.
I think the biggest factors that need to be considered at this point are:
Her husband’s first comment was that she was looking at the moon! This indicates that, at first glance, this UFO looked a lot like the moon.
The witness did not report seeing the moon setting at the same time as the object. It would have been prominently visible in the sky in the general direction she was observing. She would have noted it and told her husband that it was not the moon because the moon was also visible.
As always, we are left with not enough information to make a positive identification. That being said, the testimony does point towards this being the moon. I would consider this to be classified as possibly/probably the moon.
Quelle: SUNlite 6/2016