Tuesday, January 2, 2007


The American 'crusade' into Iraq has proven to be a disaster from the outset to its inevitable end-game which will be a bit like --no, a LOT like - the ignominious exit from Saigon of U.S. troops thiry years ago. The war on terrorism, or, rather, the war on Islamist fanaticism, the clash of civilizations is quite real, and Iraq has added to the enemy's credit, not ours. The *one* thing we might salvage of honor is to help the one non-Arab legitimate national group seeking its own place in the sunlight, the long-suffering Kurdish people. If we ultimately do not abandon our friends and genuine allies the Kurds of "northern Iraq" (see banner below), and simply leave the Iraqis to the barbaric Islamist Civil War they so richly deserve, but *leave*, we will have done well, served American interests well, and done a bit to make up for the farce the Bush administration has foisted upon the American people and military in the shadow of 9/11.
northern iraq


"They sow the wind
and reap the whirlwind. "
Hosea 8:7

""The Baath party and Baathists still exist in Iraq, and nobody can marginalize it."
Samir al-Obaidi, who attended a Saddam memorial


Report: U.S. Tried To Delay Saddam Hanging
BAGHDAD, Jan. 1, 2007(CBS/AP) In the hours before Saddam Hussein was led to the gallows by men in ski masks, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq reportedly tried, but failed, to delay the execution, reports CBS News correspondent Randall Pinkston.

A Reuters report, quoting Iraqi officials familiar with the discussions, says ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad insisted that Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki provide certain documents, including a signature from Iraq's president.

Iraq's national security adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie confirmed to CBS News that the U.S. "brought to the attention of the government of Iraq to be careful with ... documentation" and that Iraq provided the required paperwork including "a consent document from President Jalal Talabani."

The U.S. had leverage. From the moment of his capture, to his trial and sentencing, Saddam was in U.S. military custody, reports Pinkston. After the flurry of negotiations, Saddam wasn't handed over until a few hours before his execution.

After Hussein's burial today, rage over the hanging spilled into the streets in many parts of the Sunni Muslim hartland Monday, especially in Samarra where a mob of angry protesters broke the locks off the badly damaged Shiite Golden Dome mosque and marched through carrying a mock coffin and photo of the executed former leader.

Sunni extremists had blown apart the glistening dome on the Shiite holy place 10 months earlier, setting in motion the sectarian slaughter that now grips the troubled land.

The U.S. death toll climbed to at least 3,002 by the final day of 2006 as the American military reported the deaths of two more soldiers in an explosion Sunday in Diyala Province, northeast of the capital.

The Samarra protest was particularly significant because it signaled a widening expression of defiance among Sunnis, the minority Muslim sect in Iraq that had enjoyed special status and power under Saddam and had oppressed the now-ascendant Shiite majority for centuries.

Until Saddam was executed, excluding a few days of protests after his death sentence was handed down Nov. 5, the broader Sunni population had sought a low profile in the sectarian conflict that had seen thousands of them killed or driven from their homes by Shiite militia forces since the Samarra bombing Feb. 22.

Sunni insurgents and foreign fighters of al-Qaida in Iraq had been conducting a bloody insurgency with attacks on U.S. forces and brutal bombings against Shiite civilians since the summer of 2003, shortly after Saddam was ousted in the American-led invasion.

While many Sunnis were known to be sympathetic to the insurgency, its active membership had not reached broadly into the Sunni population. The angry Sunni protests that now are building in the country could presage deeper involvement by what until now had been a largely quiescent group.

The Sunnis were not only angered by Saddam's hurried execution, just four days after an appeals court upheld his conviction and sentence, but were increasingly incensed by the unruly and undignified manner in which the hanging was carried out.

A clandestine video of the hanging showed Saddam was taunted by some present at the execution with chants of "Muqtada, Muqtada, Muqtada" in the last moments of his life. The chants were a reference to anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who runs one of the deadliest religious militias in Iraq and is a major power behind the government of al-Maliki, who had pushed for Saddam to be hanged before the year was out.

Saddam was put to death on the eve of the Shiite celebration of the Eid al-Ahda, the major Muslim festival marking the end of the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and a remembrance Abraham's willingness to sacrifice of his son, now symbolized by the slaughtering of sheep.

The first judge in the so-called Dujail trial, Rizgar Mohammed Amin, said Saddam's execution in the during the eid was illegal according to Iraqi law. Sunni Muslim festivities marking the holiday began on the same day that Saddam was hanged. Rizgar, a Kurd, was removed as chief judge in the case after Shiite complaints that he was too lenient. He was replaced in January 2006 by Raouf Rasheed Abdel-Rahman.

"The implementation of Saddam's execution during Eid al-adha is illegal according to chapter 9 of the tribunal law. Article 27 states that nobody, even the president (Jalal Talabani), may change rulings by the tribunal and the implementation of the sentence should not happen until 30 days after publication that the appeals court has upheld the tribunal verdict.

The hanging during the Eid al-Adha period (also) contradicts Iraqi and Islamic custom. "Article 290 of the criminal code of 1971 (which was largely used in the Saddam trial) states that no verdict should implemented during the official holidays or religious festivals," he said.

In northern Baghdad, hundreds of Sunnis conducted a demonstration to mourn Saddam in a predominantly Sunni neighborhood.

"The Baath party and Baathists still exist in Iraq, and nobody can marginalize it," said Samir al-Obaidi, 48, who attended a Saddam memorial in the Azamiyah neighborhood.

In Dor, 77 miles north of Baghdad, hundreds more took to the streets to inaugurate a giant mosaic of Saddam.

Children carried toy guns and men fired into the air. Mourners at a mosque in Saddam's hometown of Tikrit slaughtered sheep as a sacrifice for their former leader. The mosque's walls were lined with condolence cards from tribes in southern Iraq and Jordan who were unable to travel to the memorial.

Saddam's eldest daughter briefly attended a protest Monday in Amman - her first public appearance since her father was hanged.

Raghad Saddam Hussein stopped in at the demonstration staged by the Professional Associations, a body that groups unions for doctors, engineers and lawyers, in its office parking lot in west Amman.

"God bless you, and I thank you for honoring Saddam, the martyr," two witnesses recalled Raghad Saddam Hussein as telling the protesters, who included a junior Cabinet minister, on her arrival. She left a minute later.

Also, U.S. forces killed six people in a raid on the Baghdad offices of a top Sunni politician, Saleh al-Mutlaq, on suspicion it was being used as an al-Qaida safe house, the military and Iraqi police said.

The U.S. military said took on heavy fire from automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades as they sought to enter the building. Al-Mutlaq is a senior member of the National Dialogue Front, which holds 11 of the 275 seats in Iraq's parliament.

Police said the raid also took place near the home of Salama al-Khafaji, a former Shiite parliamentarian who abandoned her residence after escaping an assassination attempt last year.

Ground troops were backed by helicopters that "engaged the enemy with precision point target machine gun fire," the military said. It was unclear whether the deaths resulted from the ground assault or fire from U.S. helicopters.

Associated Press Television News footage showed masses of rubble in the area and what appeared to be a long smear of blood where a body had been dragged across the floor of one of the buildings.

Walls in the buildings were pitted with what looked to be the impact of bullets and shrapnel.

With the announced deaths of two more soldiers, the Associated Press count of fatalities showed at least 113 U.S. service members died in December, the bloodiest month of 2006, a year in which at least 822 forces died.

Police reported finding the bodies of 40 handcuffed, blindfolded and bullet-riddled bodies in Baghdad on the first day of the New Year. A police official, who refused to be named out of security fears, said "15 of these bodies found in one place," the largely industrial Sheik Omar district in northern Baghdad.

Otherwise the there were no reported violent deaths in the country Monday with the exception of the shooting death of an Iraqi worker for Algerian Embassy in Baghdad.

Also Monday, the Iraqi government sealed the offices of a privately owned television station, charging it had incited violence and hatred in its programming.

A journalist for Al-Sharqiya station, which broadcasts from Dubai, said the station closed its Baghdad office three months ago because of attacks on its staff.

"The channel administration decided to close it for security reasons," said the journalist, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of safety concerns.

Al-Sharqiya remained on the air late Monday. The station is owned by Saad al-Bazzaz, a one-time chief of radio and television for Saddam.

© MMVII The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Sunni anger over Saddam hanging spills into streets
Updated 1/1/2007 7:03 PM ET
BAGHDAD (AP) — Enraged crowds protested the hanging of Saddam Hussein across Iraq's Sunni heartland Monday, as a mob in Samara broke the locks off a bomb-damaged Shiite shrine and marched through carrying a mock coffin and photo of the dictator.

The demonstration in the Golden Dome, shattered in a bombing by Sunni extremists 10 months ago, suggests that many Sunni Arabs may now more actively support the small number of Sunni militants fighting the country's Shiite-dominated government. The Feb. 22 bombing of the shrine triggered the current cycle of retaliatory attacks between Sunnis and Shiia, in the form of daily bombings, kidnappings and murders.

Monday's protest came on a day that saw the U.S. military kill six Iraqis during a raid on the offices of a prominent Sunni political figure, who was suspected of giving al-Qaeda in Iraq fighters sanctuary.

Until Saddam's execution Saturday, most Sunnis sympathized with militants but avoided taking a direct role in the sectarian conflict — despite attacks by Shiite militia that have killed thousands of Sunnis or driven them from their homes. The current Sunni protests, which appear to be building, could signal a spreading militancy.

Sunnis were not only outraged by Saddam's hurried execution, just four days after an appeals court upheld his conviction and sentence. Many were also incensed by the unruly scene in the execution chamber, captured on video, in which Saddam was taunted with chants of "Muqtada, Muqtada, Muqtada."

The chants referred to Muqtada al-Sadr, a firebrand Shiite cleric who runs one of Iraq's most violent religious militias. He is a major power behind the government of Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Many Sunnis are also upset that Saddam was put to death the day that Sunni celebrations began for Eid al-Ahda, a major Muslim festival. The judge who first presided over the case that resulted in Saddam's death sentence said the former dictator's execution at the start of Eid was illegal according to Iraqi law, and contradicted Islamic custom.

The law states that "no verdict should implemented during the official holidays or religious festivals," said Judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin, a Kurd.

Rizgar presided over Saddam's trial on charges he killed 148 Shiite men and boys in Dujail, north of Baghdad, in a botched assassination attempt in 1982. The judge was removed from the case after Shiite complaints that he was too lenient.

In a Sunni neighborhood in northern Baghdad, hundreds of demonstrators mourned the executed leader. Some praised the Baath Party, the outlawed nationalist group that under Saddam cemented Sunni Arab dominance of Iraq.

"The Baath party and Baathists still exist in Iraq, and nobody can marginalize it," said Samir al-Obaidi, 48, who attended a Saddam memorial in the Azamiyah neighborhood.

In Dor, 77 miles north of Baghdad, hundreds more took to the streets to attend the dedication of a giant mosaic of Saddam. Children carried toy guns and men fired real weapons into the air.

Mourners at a mosque in Saddam's hometown of Tikrit slaughtered sheep as a sacrifice for their former leader. The mosque's walls were lined with condolence cards from tribes in southern Iraq and Jordan who were unable to travel to the memorial.

Saddam's eldest daughter briefly attended a protest Monday in Jordan — her first public appearance since her father was hanged.

"God bless you, and I thank you for honoring Saddam, the martyr," said Raghad Saddam Hussein, according to two witnesses. She addressed members of the Professional Associations — an umbrella group of unions representing doctors, engineers and lawyers — in the group's office parking lot in west Amman.

In the midst of the protests, U.S. forces continued operations in Iraq.

Six Iraqis were killed in a U.S.-led raid on the Baghdad offices of a top Sunni politician, Saleh al-Mutlaq. The U.S. military and Iraqi police said they suspected the offices were being used as an al-Qaeda safe house.

Al-Mutlaq is a senior member of the National Dialogue Front, which holds 11 of the 275 seats in Iraq's parliament.

U.S. forces said they took on heavy fire from automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades as they sought to enter the building. Ground troops were backed by helicopters that "engaged the enemy with precision point target machine gun fire," the military said.

It was unclear whether the deaths resulted from the ground assault or fire from U.S. helicopters.

Associated Press Television News footage showed masses of rubble in the area and what appeared to be a long smear of blood where a body had been dragged across the floor of one of the buildings.

Walls were pitted with what appeared to be bullet and shrapnel holes.

The U.S. death toll, meanwhile, climbed to at least 3,002 by the final day of 2006 as the American military reported the deaths of two more soldiers in an explosion Sunday in Diyala Province, northeast of the capital. With the announcement, the Associated Press count of fatalities showed that at least 113 U.S. service members died in December. That makes it bloodiest month of 2006.

Police reported finding the bodies of 40 handcuffed, blindfolded and bullet-riddled bodies in Baghdad on the first day of the New Year. A police official, who refused to be named out of security fears, said 15 of the bodies were discovered in the mainly industrial Sheik Omar district of northern Baghdad.

An Iraqi worker for the Algerian Embassy in Baghdad was shot to death, police said.

Also Monday, the Iraqi government raided and sealed the offices of a privately owned television station, charging it had incited violence and hatred in its programming. In its coverage of the execution of Saddam over the weekend, a newscaster had worn black mourning clothes.

The satellite television channel Al-Sharqiya, which broadcasts from Dubai, remained on the air late Monday. The station is owned by Saad al-Bazzaz, a one-time chief of radio and television for Saddam.
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Find this article at:


To mark or mourn this grim milestone, here is an E&P summary, based on official sources and the Iraq Coaliton Casualty Count web site, of the death tally so far.

Deaths by hostile fire: 2422 80.9%
Non-hostile: 578

Age 18-20: 517 17.2%
Age 21-30: 1813 60.9%

U.S. deaths since Bush said "Bring them on": 2,793
Coalition deaths since first January 2005 Iraqi election: 1,653

Days since invasion: 1,382
Average U.S. deaths per day: 2.36
Average last three months: 3.24

Death by IED attack: 1086 36%

Women killed: 62

White: 74%
Hispanic: 11%
Black: 10%

U.S. Army: 1549 51.9%
U.S. Marine: 755
National Guard and Reserves: 596

U.K. deaths: 127
From other countries: 123

Total wounded: over 22,000
Wounded this year: over 5,600

Estimate of Iraqi deaths since killing of Zarqawi in June 2006: 13,588

Total Iraqi deaths since invasion: 100,000 to 600,000.

U.S. deaths by state:

California 305 10.2%
Texas 266
Pennsylvania 144
New York 139
Ohio 130
Florida 125
Michigan 118

E&P Staff
Approx. 10 mi. SW of McMinnville, Ore. on the farm of the witnesses:

123 19’ 50”

W, 45 06’ 15” N



Paging Mulder and Scully: “Tribune’ Probes UFO Sighting

By E&P Staff and The Associated Press

Published: January 01, 2007 6:30 PM ET

CHICAGO Federal officials say it was probably just some weird weather

phenomenon, but a group of United Airline employees swear they saw a mysterious,

saucer-shaped craft hovering over O’Hare Airport last fall.

The workers, some of them pilots, said the object didn’t have lights and hovered

over an airport terminal before shooting up through the clouds, according to a

report in Monday’s Chicago Tribune.

The Federal Aviation Administration acknowledged that a United supervisor had

called the control tower at O’Hare, asking if anyone had spotted a spinning

disc-shaped object. But the controllers didn’t see anything, and a preliminary

check of radar found nothing out of the ordinary, FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth

Isham Cory said.

“Our theory on this is that it was a weather phenomenon,” Cory said. “That night

was a perfect atmospheric condition in terms of low (cloud) ceiling and a lot of

airport lights. When the lights shine up into the clouds, sometimes you can see

funny things.”

The FAA is not investigating, Cory said.

United spokeswoman Megan McCarthy said company officials don’t recall discussing

any such incident from Nov. 7.

At least one O’Hare controller, union official Craig Burzych, was amused by it


“To fly 7 million light years to O’Hare and then have to turn around and go home

because your gate was occupied is simply unacceptable,” he said.

The Tribune account, however, struck a more serious nerve. An excerpt follows.


Some of the witnesses, interviewed by the Tribune, said they are upset that

neither the government nor the airline is probing the incident.

Whatever the object was, it could have interfered with O’Hare’s radar and other

equipment, and even created a collision risk, they said.

The Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (the term that extraterrestrial-watchers

nowadays prefer over Unidentified Flying Object) was first seen by a United ramp

worker who was directing back a United plane at Gate C17, according to an

account the worker provided to the National UFO Reporting Center.

The sighting occurred during daylight, about 4:30 p.m., just before sunset.

All the witnesses said the object was dark gray and well defined in the overcast

skies. They said the craft, estimated by different accounts to be 6 feet to 24

feet in diameter, did not display any lights.

Some said it looked like a rotating Frisbee, while others said it did not appear

to be spinning. All agreed the object made no noise and it was at a fixed

position in the sky, just below the 1,900-foot cloud deck, until shooting off

into the clouds.

“I tend to be scientific by nature, and I don’t understand why aliens would

hover over a busy airport,” said a United mechanic who was in the cockpit of a

Boeing 777 that he was taxiing to a maintenance hangar when he observed the

metallic-looking object above Gate C17.

“But I know that what I saw and what a lot of other people saw stood out very

clearly, and it definitely was not an [Earth] aircraft,” the mechanic said.

One United employee appeared emotionally shaken by the sighting and “experienced

some religious issues” over it, one co-worker said.

A United manager said he ran outside his office in Concourse B after hearing the

report about the sighting on an internal airline radio frequency.

“I stood outside in the gate area not knowing what to think, just trying to

figure out what it was,” he said. “I knew no one would make a false call like

that. But if somebody was bouncing a weather balloon or something else over

O’Hare, we had to stop it because it was in very close proximity to our flight


E&P Staff and The Associated Press (more on this case later in this summary)


“This is the sound

of underground

around the world

where you are

lives the gothic cult.

Be a dark star!”



The U.S. Air Force contracted with a team at the University of Colorado headed

by the late Dr. Edward Condon to conduct an independent survey of UFO cases. The following

is one of the most evidential. Condon attended the 1967 National UFO Conference. Some

12,000 people attended the convention. NUFOC is now the longest-running annual UFO


in the world ( http://www.nufoc.org/ ).

A good current article on his case can be found at


Note that the images in the body of this report - in the original - are not

posted here, but one of the two is shown above, so note the illustrations here of the image in

question and a very similar good

photograph was taken in 1954 at Rouen, France. For the original on line, see




Witness I reportedly saw a metallic-looking, disk-shaped UPO. She called her

husband, they located their camera, and he took photographs of the object before it

disappeared in the distance.


Time: 7:45 p.m. PST (1,2); 7:30 p.m. (3).

Position: Approx. 10 mi. SW of McMinnville, Ore. on the farm of the witnesses:

123 19’ 50”

W, 45 06’ 15” N (7).

Terrain: Rolling farm country, elv. 210 ft.; houses several hundred meters apart


Weather Conditions: Dull with an overcast at about 5,000 ft. (2, confirmed by

the photos).

Sighting, General Information:

The sighting occurred in the back yard of a farm about 0.2 mi. S of the “Salmon


Highway” (U.S. 99W (7). Witness was feeding rabbits in the back yard, S of the

house and E

of the garage when the object was first sighted (1,2,3,6), apparently toward the

NE (6).

Witness II was apparently in the house at this moment, as three of the accounts


refer to Witness I calling to him and running into the house to fetch him from

the kitchen,

although one account (1) states that they had “been out in the back yard,” and

“both... saw it at the same time.”

As far as Witness I could remember 17 yr. later (6), the rabbits gave no

indication of disturbance.

Immediately after they both saw the object, apparently as it was still in a NE

direction, moving slowly toward the W (6), they thought of their camera (1,2,3,6). Witness

II ran to the car, thinking it was there, but Witness I remembered it was in the house and

brought it (1,6). Witness II took the camera, which was already loaded. The roll of film

had been purchased during the winter and already had two or three shots on it (4).

At this time “the object was coming in toward us and seemed to be tipped up a

little bit. It was very bright—almost silvery—and there was no noise or smoke” (1).

Witness II explained that he took the first picture, re-wound his film as fast

as possible and then as the object gathered speed and turned toward the northwest, he had to

move rapidly to his right to get the second picture. Both were snapped within thirty

seconds, he estimated (1). According to another early reference: “[Witness II] elaborated,

‘There wasn’t any flame and it was moving fairly slow. Then I snapped the first picture. It

moved a little to the left and I moved to the right to take another picture.’” (3). Plates 23

and 24 show the two photographs in the sequence taken. During this interval the object was

moving quite slowly, apparently almost hovering, and it apparently shifted both its position

and orientation in a complex way, changing direction and tipping just before it

moved away, as indicated in Plate 25 (2,6). However, Witness I described it as “not undulating

or rotating, just ‘sort of gliding’” (2). The UFO accelerated slowly during or just after the

second photograph and moved away rapidly toward the west (2) . Witness I ran into the

house to call her mother-in-law, got no answer, and returned outside just in time to see the

UFO ‘dimly vanishing toward the west’ (2).


The witnesses described the object as “very bright - almost silvery” (1);

“brightly metallic, silver or aluminum colored, with a touch of bronze...appeared to have

a sort of superstructure... ‘like a good-sized parachute canopy without the strings, only

silvery- bright mixed with bronze’” (2); silvery on top but with more bronze on the

bottom, the

bottom being different (but, this being seventeen years later, Witness I was

unsure whether it was darker)...shiny but not as bright as a hub cap...resembling a dull,

aluminum-painted tank (which Witness I pointed out to the writer in our interview)... “awful

pretty” (6). The rather bright, aluminum-like, but not spectacular, reflecting surface appears, to

be confirmed by analysis of the photos (see below). There was no noise, visible exhaust,

flames, or smoke (1,3,6).

When the object tipped up, exposing its under side to the witnesses, they felt a

gust of wind which they thought may have come from the UFO. “’...there was a breeze as

it went overhead... which died down later’” (2). In the interview with the writer,

Witness I stressed this, remarking the wind was “about to knock you over,” though Witness

II (interviewed separately) remarked that it made only a “very little” breeze as it

was getting ready to fly off (6). As to size, speed, and distance, the witnesses were

reluctant to hazard a guess (1,2), as Witness II had no way of knowing its size (2), although one

of the references quotes Witness II as estimating a diameter of “20 or 30 ft.” (3), and Witness

I compared its appearance (though not explicitly its size) to a parachute canopy (2,6).

As to the origin of the UFO, Witness II remarked both at the time and in 1967

that he thought it was a secret U.S. craft (1). “’...you hear so much about those

things...1 didn’t believe all that talk about flying saucers before, but now I have an idea the

Army knows what they are’” (3).Witness II recalls finishing his roll of film on Mother’s Day (4) and had it

Developed locally (1). Witness II mentioned his observation and showed the pictures to a

few friends.

He did not seek publicity about the pictures, admitting that he was “’kind of

scared of it’” (2,3), and “afraid they would get in trouble with the ‘government’ and be

bothered by the publicity” (2). However, McMinnville Telephone Register reporter

Bill Powell learned of the sighting from two McMinnville bankers, Ralph and Frank Wortman,

and followed up the story (1,2). He found the negatives “on the floor under a davenport where

the Witnesses’ children had been playing with them” (2). The Telephone Register

broke the story Thursday, 8 June 1950 with a front page article containing the two pictures and



“...in view of the variety of opinion and reports attendant to the saucers over

the past two years, every effort has been made to check Trent’s photos for authenticity.

Expert photographers declared there has been no tampering with the negatives. [The]

original photos were developed by a local firm. After careful consideration, there appears to be

no possibility of hoax or hallucination connected with the pictures. Therefore the

Telephone Register believes them authentic...” (1).

Various McMinnville residents, including the bankers Wortman, offered to sign

Affidavits vouching unreservedly for the reputation and veracity of the witnesses (1,2,4).

On Friday and Saturday, 9 and 10 June, the Portland, Ore., and Los Angeles

Newspapers carried the story (2,3). Life magazine carried the pictures the following week

(4). The witnesses accepted an invitation to appear on a television program “We the

People,” in New York (6). Witness I remarked that they were encouraged by the people responsible

for this show to make statements they (the Witnesses) regarded as inaccurate. The

witnesses, however, did not make such statements, but told only what they saw (6).

While in New York, the witnesses were to receive their negatives from Life

magazine, but were informed that the negatives were temporarily misplaced (6). Life promised

to return them by mail to Oregon, but apparently never recovered them (6). With the

cooperation of Life the Colorado project discovered that in 1950 the negatives had been in the

possession of International News Photo Service later merged with United Press

International. The Project located the original negatives and was permitted to examine them.

As mentioned above, various reputable individuals volunteered to attest to the

witnesses’ veracity. They appear to be sincere, though not highly educated or experienced

observers. During the writer’s interview with them, they were friendly and quite

unconcerned about the sighting. Witness II was at work plowing his field and did not even get off his

tractor. From interviews throughout this district one gained the impression that these

were very industrious farm people, not given to unusual pranks.

Two inferences appear to be justified: 1) It is difficult to see any prior

motivation for a fabrication of such a story, although after the fact, the witnesses did profit

to the extent of a trip to New York; 2) it is unexpected that in this distinctly rural

atmosphere, in 1950, one would encounter a fabrication involving sophisticated trick

photography (e.g. a carefully retouched print). The witnesses also appear unaffected now by the

incident, receiving only occasional inquiries (6).

The over-all appearance of the photographs, in particular the slightly

underexposed land foreground and properly exposed sky, is consistent with the reported time 7:30

PST (sunset being roughly a few minutes after 7:15, and twilight lasting until after 8:45).

There could be a possible discrepancy in view of the fact that the UFO, the telephone pole,

possibly the garage at the left, and especially the distant house gables (left of the distant

barn) are illuminated from the right, or east. The house, in particular, appears to have a

shadow under its roof that would suggest a day lit photo, and combined with the eastward

incidence, one could argue that the photos were taken on a dull, sunlit day at, say, 10

a.m. But accepting the UFO makes scarcely less sense than arguing that the witnesses

staged a hoax at 10 a.m. and then claimed the photographs were taken at 7:30.

Densitometry of the

original negatives shows that the sky itself is brighter toward the west, as

expected. It seems possible that, half an hour after sunset, the cloud distribution could

result in a dull illumination preferentially from the NE (certainly there will be skylight

from above).

Reality of physical object. As stated previously, it is unlikely that a

Sophisticated “optical fabrication” was performed. The negatives had not been tampered with.

Further, a geometric test was performed to determine whether the object shown in

Plate 24 in approximate cross section was the same object photographed in Plate 23 at a

different angle.

The apparent inclination, i, can be determined from the ratio of the axes of the

Apparent ellipse in Plate 23.

i = b/a (2)

Measures on several copies of photo 1 (the UPI print, an enlargement thereof,

and two magazine reproductions) gave sin i = 0.368, and

i = 21°.6 ± 0°.1 (est. P.E.). (3)

Plate 26 shows enlargements from UPI print with lines of sight superimposed on

the Plate 24

“cross section” at 21°.6. The way in which these lines cut the image is in

perfect agreement

with the appearance of the object in Plate 23. Judging from the apparent

position of the pole it is likely that the object has simply tipped, without rotation, between

the two photos. The lighting is also consistent with that in the rest of the photo. Both

photographs, therefore, show real objects and that the object in Plate 23 is a view of the

same object in Plate 24, seen in different perspective.

Asymmetry of UFO. It will be noted in Plate 26 that the UFO is distinctly

asymmetric. The “pole” is off center and inclined, and there appears to be a difference in the

profiles of the right and left sides (Plate 24), the left having a more pronounced notch

defining the flange. The shading of the object also indicates a more distinct flange on the

left in Plate 24. The asymmetries are judged physical, not optical effects.

Absence of rotation. The top of the “pole,” barely visible in photo 1, is off

center to the left by the same amount as in photo 2. This would be rather improbable if the

object were rotating, and supports Witness II’s statement that it was not rotating. This is

a rather strong argument against a fabrication using a necessarily (for stability)spinning

model similar to a “frisbee,” especially in view of the fact that only 2 exposures

were made in the middle of an intact roll of film. Angular size of object. From measurements

of recent photos (6) the photos were

scaled and the UFO diameters estimated to be:

Plate 23: 1°.4

Plate 24: 1°.3.

The P.E. is probably about 0°.1, but the object subtends a smaller angle in

photo 2,consistent with the allegation that photo 2 was made as the UFO was beginning to

depart. It follows immediately that the distance-diameter relation is determined, and a

man of the locale (based on ref. 7) is shown in Fig. 1 with the azimuths, angular sizes,

and example, that the object was less than a meter in diameter and over the driveway.

Psychological reaction. I judge it reasonable that as the object allegedly

drifted to the left, in danger of being lost to sight behind the garage, that the observer

should step unconsciously to his right, as the photos show he did, although one might expect

the observer even more reasonably to step forward, to get in front of the garage.

The reason for the first response may have been that the second would put the observer close to

the house, where the object might be lost to sight if it moved back to the east, while by

moving away from the garage, one moves toward the open Yard SE of the house. In summary, the

movement of the observer is consistent with the alleged observation.

Possibility of fabrication. The above tests all appear to be consistent with the

witnesses’ testimony. The possibility of optical fabrication seems remote. A model thrown

into the air by hand appears an unlikely possibility because of the evidence for absence of

rotation. Another possibility can be considered, however. The object appears beneath a

pair of wires, as is seen in Plates 23 and 24. We may question, therefore, whether it could

have been a model suspended from one of the wires. This possibility is strengthened by the

observation that the object appears beneath roughly the same point in the two photos, in

spite of their having been taken from two positions. This can be determined from

irregularities, or “kinks,” in the wires. The wires pass between the camera positions and the

garage (left). We know from the change in orientation of the object that it moved, or was re-

oriented by hand, between exposures. The possibility that it is a model hanging beneath a point on

the wire suggests a further test: Is the change in distance of the object in Plates 23

and 24 equal to the change in distance from the wires? Measures of the disk indicate that it

is about 8% further away in Plate 24. Measures of the irregularities in the wires indicate

that they are further away from the camera in Plate 24. The amount of the latter increase from

the wires (measured by the separation of rather ill-defined “kinks”) is less certain than

the distance increase from the disk, but it is measured to be about 10%. These tests do not

rule out the possibility that the object was a small model suspended from the nearby wire by

an unresolved thread.

Given the foregoing analysis, one must choose between an asymmetric model

suspended from the overhead wire, and an extraordinary flying object (See Table 1).

Photometric analysis. Although it is often stated that a single photograph of an

Object contains no information on the distance, this is not strictly true. Atmospheric

Extinction and scattering, combined, serve to reduce contrast as distance increases, an

effect perhaps best appreciated by artists. The shadowed bottom of the UFO in Plate 23 has a

particularly pale look, suggestive of scattering between observer and object, and if such

scattering is detectable, it may be possible to make some estimate of the distance involved.

Table 1

Summary of Possible Interpretations

Interpretations Rejected Comments

Optical fabrications

Double exposure X UFO darker than sky background

Retouch; drawn image X Negatives unretouched

Multiple copies, recopying (X) Overly sophisticated

Physical fabrications

“Frisbee”-type model in flight X No rotation

Model suspended from wire Under same part of wire in each photo

Extraordinary Flying Object Photometry suggests large distance

The luminance or apparent surface brightness at distance r of an object of

Intrinsic luminance Bo (r = 0) is B = Bsky (1 - e-Beta · r) + Bo e-Beta · r (4)

where Beta is the scattering coefficient. The first term represents scattered

light; the second, extinction. Since all measures must be based on the witnesses’ two

photographs, we will determine Beta for the given day from the photographs themselves.

Normalizing all brightnesses (measured from the film and assuming that the images measured fall

on the linear portion of the gamma curve) to that of the sky near the horizon, i.e. on

a line within a few thousand feet of the ground, where the UFO is constrained to be by

the reported cloud height and probably nearness to the camera, we have B = 1 + e-Beta · r (Bo

* 1)

(5) Notice that if an object is sufficiently far away, its brightness equals the

sky brightness (in physical terms, the optical depth T >> 1).

Given the brightness of an object at zero distance, Bo, and the observed

brightness B, one may solve for the distance r. The first necessary step is to determine the

scattering coefficient Beta. The original negatives were subjected to densitometric

analysis, and Table 2 lists observed values of B. “Hill 2” lies at a distance of about 2.2 km (7).

The photometry indicates that B = .685 for the distant hill, but the foreground

foliage gives Bo = .403. This gives = 0.289 km-1, or optical depth T = 1 at r = 3.5 km,

(6) which appears consistent with the appearance of the photos.

At this point the theory was checked against objects of known distance. For

example, the roof of the distant barn (“B” in Fig. 1 ) has B = .506. If one assumes that its

intrinsic brightness equals that of the foreground garage, then Bo = .495, so that r =

0.073 km.

Table 2

Values of B for Objects Photographed*

Based on densitometry of original negatives; aperture 75µ x 75µ

Object Plate 23 Plate 24

UFO “Pole” 1.07

Illuminated right side 1.29 1.23

Illuminated left side (1.35) 1.05

Shaded bottom .675

Garage roof .489 .501

Shadows under eaves .396 .426

Metallic tank:

Illuminated .86 .91

Shaded bottom (.48) (.40)

Foreground underbrush .417 .389

Barn (roof) .511 .501


1 .63 .59

2 .71 .66


Illuminated wall (.77) (.77)

Shadow (.44) (.52)


Upper right 1.29 1.26

Upper left 1.51 1.62

Horizon 1.00 1.00

Unexposed edge of film .32 .34

Measures in parentheses have lower weight

* B values are normalized to horizon sky brightness

The true r is about 0.32 km, and our error is a factor 4. One can resolve the

discrepancy by assuming the barn roof was slightly (7%) darker than the garage roof.

Again, one can check the theory on the distant “Hill 1.” B = .610 and Bo = .403

as measured in the foreground foliage. This gives r = 1.5 km. The true r is in the range 1.3

to 1.9 km, depending on the part of the hill observed, and the error is negligible.

A third check, more comparable to the UFO problem, is the distant house (“H” in

Fig. 1 ).

Unfortunately the densitometer did not clearly resolve the illuminated white

facade from the intervening branches; however, supplementary measures with enlargements indicate

that the

facade brightness should be only slightly more than 1.00, e.g. B = 1.02, and Bo

= 1.04, which means that the apparent brightness nearly equals sky brightness and hence

is very insensitive to distance and gives no good solution. There are shadows visible on

the house on the white surface under the eaves. Measures indicate B = .48. Bo for the

shadows on this white surface, illuminated by the ambient illumination, should be intrinsically

measurably brighter than the shadows under the dark wooden garage eaves and under the tank

beside the garage (Bo = .41), but not as much brighter as the white illuminated surface is

brighter than the darker wood. (If there were no ambient illumination, all shadows would

be intrinsically black; Bo = 0). An estimated value is Bo = .43. This gives a

distance of r = 0.32 km, only 14% less than the measured distance of 0.37 km. Naive use of Bo =

0.41, known to he too low, would have given r = 0.44 km, 19% too great.

It is concluded that by careful consideration of the parameters involved in the

case of recognizable objects in the photographs, distances can be measured within a

factor-four error. This justifies the assumption that we are on the linear part of the gamma


Figure 1: Sighting Locale

If such a good measure could be made for the UFO, we could distinguish between a

Distant extraordinary object and a hypothetical small, close model.

At this point we must be explicit about the geometry of the situation. We

represent the environment as in Fig. 2 . We assume that the UFO is within a homogeneous

scattering layer with T = 1 at 3.5 km. If the UFO were far away and at an altitude greater than

the characteristic dimension of the layer (C in Fig. 2), it would be large and

extraordinary in any case. If it is relatively close, r = 1 km, the assumptions are justified.

Our objective is to distinguish between cases A and B in Fig. 2 . The sky brightness, to which

all the brightness values are normalized, must be the sky brightness at the horizon,

since this is the value characteristic of long path length through the scattering layer.

For the solution of the UFO distance, we have two independent solutions from two independent

observations: the illuminated and shadowed surfaces of the UFO. As was remarked

above, it is the shadowed surface in particular that looks pale and hence suggests large

distance. Immediately from Table 2 we see that B = 1.21 describes the part of the UFO,

while the illuminated part of the nearby dull aluminum-painted tank Bo = .885. Since, as

the UFO recedes, B must approach 1.00. We thus know that 1.21 is the minimum intrinsic

brightness of the UFO surface, i.e. Bo>1.21. Thus the UFO in any interpretation is known to

have a brighter surface than the foreground tank. Thus, the photometry at once confirms

the witnesses’ report that the UFO was shiny, like a fresh, aluminum-painted

surface, but not a spectacular surface.

The question is, how bright is the surface intrinsically, and what surface

properties would be consistent with both the observed illuminated and shadowed side? Fig. 3 shows

two families of solutions, one for the illuminated top surface and one for the

shaded bottomside. Solutions for the latter have

Figure 2: Sighting Geometry

Click on thumbnail to see full-size image.

Figure 3: Brightness/Diameter/Distance Plot

an uncertainty introduced by the difficulty of measuring the true shadow

intensity or the tank. The distance is given as a function of the assumed increase in brightness

over the value for the illuminated or shaded side of the aluminum-painted tank,


Fig. 3 graphically illustrates the problem. For example, if the object is a

model suspended from the wire only a few meters away, its surface is some 37% brighter than that

of the tank, and the shaded side is probably more than 40% brighter than the shadow on

the tank. But this is nearly impossible to maintain in the face of the photometry.

Although the distant house’s surface is roughly twice as bright as the tank’s surface, its

shadows can be only a few percent brighter, intrinsically, than those on the tank. This is

basically the problem that was suggested by initial inspection of the photos: the shadowed

side of the UFO appears to be so bright that it suggests significant scattering between it and

the observer. The upshot is that if the top and bottom surfaces of the UFO are made out of

essentially the same material, i.e. with the same albedo, the photometry indicates that the UFO

is distant, at roughly r = 1.3 ± 0.4 km (est. P. E.). The witnesses referred to a slightly

different hue of the bottom side of the UFO: they said it was more bronze than the silvery top

side. We have assumed this change in tint had negligible effect on the photometry,

although the implication is that the bottom has slightly lower albedo. If so the UFO would be

still more distant.

There is one last possibility for fabrication which has not been ruled out.

Suppose the object is a small model with a pale grey top and a bright white bottom (e.g. an

aluminum pie pan sealed on the bottom with white paper). Could this account for the apparent

lightness of the bottom, shaded side of the UFO? It is difficult to defend this idea in the

face of the photometry. Our analysis of the house

indicated that its shaded white surface had an intrinsic brightness of 0.43,

which is very close to the value measured for the shaded part of the aluminum-painted tank.

Yet hypothetical fabrication requires a surface on the shaded bottom of the model

that is of intrinsic shaded brightness 0.68, considerably brighter than the shaded part of

the white house. In other words, the photometry appears to indicate that a very white

surface on the bottom of a small model would be required to match the appearance of the

photographs. To the extent that the photometric analysis is reliable, (and the measurements

appear to be consistent), the photographs indicate an object with a bright shiny surface at

considerable distance and on the order of tens of meters in diameter. While it would be

exaggerating to say that we have positively ruled out a fabrication, it appears significant that

the simplest, most direct interpretation of the photographs confirms precisely what

the witnesses said they saw. Yet, the fact that the object appears beneath the same

part of the overhead wire in both photos can be used as an argument favoring a suspended



This is one of the few UFO reports in which all factors investigated, geometric,

psychological, and physical appear to be consistent with the assertion that an

extraordinary flying object, silvery, metallic, disk-shaped, tens of meters in diameter, and

evidently artificial, flew within sight of two witnesses. It cannot be said that the

evidence positively rules out a fabrication, although there are some physical factors

such as the accuracy of certain photometric measures of the original negatives which argue

against a fabrication.

DETAILS FROM http://www.nuforc.org/:




DECEMBER 07, 2006 UPDATE: NUFORC has received a second report about this

incident from a senior aircraft mechanic, who was taxiing a Boeing 777 at the

time of the sighting, and who witnessed the object.

His report is here:”Occurred : 11/7/2006 16:30 (Entered as : 110706 16:30)

Reported: 11/21/2006 4:08:16 PM 16:08

Posted: 12/7/2006

Location: Chicago O’Hare Airport, IL

Shape: Circle

Duration:20 min

((NUFORC Note: This individual was interviewed, at length, by one of the

investigators involved in the follow-up investigation. The investigators were

highly impressed with the witness’s credentials, and with the accurate

description of the event. We deem this witness to be extremely highly credible.

We express our sincere gratitude to this witness for his having shared the

information about his sighting with NUFORC, and with his fellow American

Citizens. PD))

Chicago O’Hare UFO Report

Ok I have been hesitant about talking about this, but after hearing the report

on Coast to Coast AM with Mr. Norey I can not be silent. I work for a major

airline at O’Hare, I am a taxi mechanic. I have the job responsibility of moving

aircraft under there own power from gate to gate or the hangar complex for

maintenance. We also accomplish the engine run-up testing needed. So I hope that

does something for establishing a little of credibility for my report. I am

still in absolute wonder and amazement at what I saw that afternoon.

Around 1630 a pilot made a comment on the radio about a circle or disc shaped

object hovering over gate C-17 at the C concourse in Chicago. At first we

laughed to each other and then the same pilot said again on the radio that is

was about 700feet agl (above ground level). The day was overcast with the

ceiling being reported at 1600 feet if I remember correctly. I was taxing a

Boeing 777 from the Intl Terminal to the Company Hanger on the North side of the

Airport. As we passed the C Terminal on the Alpha taxiway we observed a dark

gray hazy round object hovering over O’Hare Intl Airport. Is was definitely over

the C Terminal. It was holding very steady and appeared to be trying to stay

close to the cloud cover. The radio irrupted with chatter about the object and

the ATC controller that was handling ground traffic made a few smart comments

about the alleged UFO sighting above the C terminal.

We had to continue moving the aircraft to the hangar. After parking I noticed

the craft of no longer there but there was an almost perfect circle in the cloud

layer were the craft had been. The hole disappeared a few minutes later.

For the rest of the night there were jokes made on the radio about the sighting.”

((NUFORC Note: This individual was interviewed, at length, by one of the

investigators involved in the follow-up investigation. The investigators were

highly impressed with the witness’s credentials, and with his description of

what he saw. We deem this witness to be highly credible. PD))

ORIGINAL REPORT: The National UFO Reporting Center has received the following

information from a single source (see below), who, for the time being, wishes to

remain anonymous, and who prefers not to reveal for what entity he works. We

have received documentation about the alleged sighting, which satisfies us as to

the veracity of the report, and as to the credentials of the party reporting the


We have delayed release of this case, principally because an investigation was

begun almost immediately after our receipt of the initial report, and because we

were hoping to obtain addition documentation about the sighting, before it could

be concealed, or destroyed.

At approximately 16:30 p.m. (Central) on Tuesday, November 07, 2006, Federal

authorities at O’Hare Airport received a report that approximately a dozen

witnesses were observing a small, round disc-shaped object, metallic in

appearance, which hovered over Gate C17 at that airport.

The object was first spotted by an employee, working on the ramp, who was

engaged in “pushing back” Flight 446, departing Chicago for Charlotte, NC.

The employee reported to his supervisors that the object appeared to be almost

directly above his location at Gate C17, it appeared to be perfectly round, and

that its size was approximately equal to a U. S. quarter, held at arm’s length.

The object had a metallic appearance, according to the first witness, and it

appeared to him to be spinning.

The first witness apprised the flight crew of Flight 446 of the existence of the

object above their aircraft, and we believe both the pilot and copilot were

witness to the bizarre object, as well. The witness also contacted his

supervisors, who also witnessed the object, which was visible for approximately

2 minutes.

At the end of that time, the object was seen to suddenly accelerate straight up

at a very rapid pace, and it “shot” through the solid overcast, which was at

1,900 feet at the time. The witness added that the object appeared to leave a

“hole” in the clouds, where it had streaked upwards through the overcast.

Both the Federal Aviation Administration and Transportation Security

Administration were apprised of the event at the time it was occurring, and FAA

personnel in one of the towers at O’Hare may have witnessed the object, probably

with binoculars. The FAA apparently reported that the object was not visible on

radar, although that fact has not been confirmed at the time of this writing.

We hope to be able to release more information about the incident at some time

in the near future. In the meantime, we would like to invite anyone who may have

been personal witness to the event to submit a report of their sighting, using

our Online Report Form. We would be most grateful if you would indicate in your

report where you were located, at the time of the sighting, and what the object

looked like, from your vantage point.

Here is another, similar, report for a sighting at Gatwick Airport, near London,

on April 12, 2006:

Occurred : 4/12/2006 23:45 (Entered as : 04/12/2006 23:45)

Reported: 12/4/2006 4:04:03 PM 16:04

Posted: 12/7/2006

Location: East Preston (UK/England),

Shape: Light

Duration:2 MINUTES

“Erratic light seen over Gatwick Airpot 4/12/2006

“Object was over Gatwick airport direction. it changed direction suddenly a few

times and descended and climbed incredibly quickly.

“It most definitly was not an aeroplane. only a military plane could manouvre

anything like as fast as this but I can discount that because 1/ the time being

close to midnight 2/ coupled with a low altitude estimate;- below 2000 feet 3/

no sound.

“I am amateur astronomer and can without doubt discount all astronomical

illusions i.e. Moon, Venus, Mars, meteor etc.”