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Craig concludes (Condon & Gillmor, 1968, p. 57): "If the report is accurate, it describes an unusual, intriguing, and puzzling phenomenon, which, in the absence of additional information, must be listed as unidentified.

The case is also discussed extensively by Thayer in his summary (Condon & Gillmor, 1968, pp. 136-139). Thayer attempts an explanation in terms of 11 anomalous propagation" (AP) echoes and an unidentified ground light source, but adds, "'There are many unexplained aspects to this sighting, however, and a solution such as given above, although possible, does not seem highly probable." The reader is urged to assess this statement by reviewing the case (Condon & Gillmor, 1968, pp. 260-266) and by reading the more extensive AIAA-sponsored account of McDonald (1971), who determined the correct date of this event and so obtained Air Force records that the Condon staff had been unable to track down. The AIAA case is, therefore, more complete, more detailed, and more reliable than the study presented in the Condon Report. The summary of this case, as given by McDonald, is as follows:

An Air Force RB-47, equipped with electronic countermeasures (ECM) gear, and manned by six officers, was followed by an unidentified object for a distance of well over 700 mi. and for a time period of 1.5 hr., as it flew from Mississippi, through Louisiana and Texas and into Oklahoma. The object was, at various times, seen visually by the cockpit crew as an intensely luminous light, followed by ground-radar and detected on ECM monitoring gear aboard the RB-47. Of special interest in this case are several instances of simultaneous appearances and disappearances on all three of those physically distinct 'channels,' and rapidity of maneuvers beyond the prior experience of the air crew.

Condon, in his "Summary of the Study," devotes almost three pages to discussion of radar sightings of UFOs, but his comments on the case studies of the Colorado Project are confined to two short paragraphs comprising only 10% of Condon's discussion of radar sightings. As an evaluation of these case studies, he quotes from Thayer's summary: ". . . there was no case where the meteorological data available tended to negate the anomalous propagation hypothesis. . . ." This is, at best, an unfortunate quotation, implying that Thayer regards the anomalous propagation hypothesis as offering a plausible explanation of every case. A more complete quotation of Thayer's remark (Condon & Gillmor, 1968, p. 172) is as follows:

The reader should note that the assignment of cases into the probable AP cause category could have been made on the basis of the observational testimony alone. That is to say, that there was no case where the meteorological data available tended to negate the anomalous propagation hypothesis, thereby causing that case to be assigned to some other category.

In the table (Condon & Gillmor, 1968, p. 173) to which Thayer is referring, we see that for only 19 of the 35 cases does Thayer regard anomalous propagation

 

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