Is Avi Loeb correct about the alien mothership? In his recent striking scientific paper co-authored with Dr. Sean Kirkpatrick, Director of All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office Pentagon, the Harvard physicist discusses the idea of small UFO probes from a mothership, using Oumuamua as a possible example. The researchers state that extraterrestrial motherships carrying smaller probes could potentially visit planets in our solar system, including Earth.
This has sparked a debate among ufologists with some referencing previous sightings and photographs of similar craft that have been attributed to their large size and cylindrical shape. The statement has prompted discussion on the possibility of alien life and whether or not such visitations have already occurred.
On March 20, 1950, a cylindrical UFO was photographed at night over New York City. The object was classified as a nocturnal light by J. Allen Hynek and was officially labeled as the moon by Project Grudge (predecessor of Project Blue Book) after investigation. The photographer’s name was deleted from Project Blue Book’s files. Some ufologists have speculated that this type of UFO may be a mothership capable of carrying and discharging smaller craft. (Source)
According to a declassified document, the photograph was taken by an Underhill Studio photographer from the Queensboro Bridge before sunset. The photographer’s name was deleted from Project Blue Book’s files — as were most names when the material was finally declassified and released. Upon investigating the report, Project Grudge officially labeled it “The Moon.” (Source)
The photographer, who is believed to be Irving Underhill, stated that the object was not present in the sky when the photograph was taken and denied that it was a film defect. Underhill was a renowned architectural photographer who often received commissions to promote new buildings. Air Force investigators received the photograph in a letter and concluded that it was caused by the Moon’s declination during a long exposure. However, this explanation is questionable for various reasons, including the shadowing on the object and the positioning of the Moon.
Underhill claimed that the photograph was taken on May 20, 1950, but Air Force investigators changed the date to March 20. A waxing crescent Moon was visible for two hours that night before traveling below the horizon in March, which could have accounted for the object’s shape in the photograph. However, there is no documentation to support the date change, and it is unclear if investigators altered the print. The Moon on May 20, 1950, was days away from a first quarter phase and did not have the necessary curve to match the object in the photograph.
The Air Force stated that the photograph was taken between 17:30 and 18:00 o’clock on March 20, 1950. However, the Sun did not set until 18:06 that day, and there were no deviations in Daylight Saving Time that year. Furthermore, the enlarged version of the photograph shows the concave edge of the object facing down towards the horizon, which is inconsistent with the waxing crescent Moon’s position on March 20. Therefore, the official explanation of the photograph being caused by the Moon’s declination during a long exposure is dubious.
Edward J. Ruppelt, a former head of Blue Book, wrote in his book “The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects (1956)”: “It doesn’t take a great deal of study of the old UFO files to see that standard intelligence procedures were no longer being used by Grudge. Everything was being evaluated on the premise UFOs couldn’t exist.” Its goal, he wrote, was to “get rid of UFOs,” by “explaining every report.”
Despite Grudge’s goal to debunk UFOs, as Ruppelt described it, by the early 1950s, reports of cigar-shaped objects were so numerous that they became difficult to ignore. The Underhill photo is just one of the many sightings of cigar-shaped objects that were reported in the early 1950s.
In one such incident on February 5, 1950, two pilots reported seeing a pair of bright cylinders above Teaticket, Massachusetts. They witnessed a pair of bright cylinders maneuvering together in the sky, and dropping a fireball from one of them. The objects climbed rapidly and then disappeared, leaving the pilots puzzled as they had never seen anything like them before, despite thousands of flying hours between them. The incident occurred just one month before the famous Underhill photo was taken, which the Air Force claimed was a weather balloon. (Source)
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The Teaticket sighting was not an isolated incident, as similar sightings were reported in the following years. For instance, in May 1950, two radar operators at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico observed a metallic cylindrical object flying at tremendous speed, angled downward, and disappearing in a flash of brilliant white light.
In July 1952, four pilots saw three vertically stacked cylinders between 50,000 and 80,000 feet in the sky over Pennsylvania, and four days later, a Navy veteran saw a lone grey cylinder with a domed top and bottom flying upright before flashing silver and disappearing. In August 1952, an engineer in New Mexico saw three cigar-shaped objects sitting motionless in a V-formation before tumbling forward as they flew.
Despite these and many other sightings, the US government’s official response was to explain them right away, often with unsatisfactory and inadequate explanations. The Teaticket incident was dismissed as a weather balloon, and the March 1967 sighting in Newburgh, New York, was attributed to Venus, even though the witnesses described a large, bright, silver object with intricate details that vanished instantaneously. (Source)
The lack of a comprehensive investigation and analysis of these sightings has led to many unanswered questions and speculation about the intent, origin, and purpose of UFOs. The fact that the US government has not released all of its UFO files only fuels further speculation.
It is unclear why some sightings involve cylindrical shapes while others are disc-shaped or spherical. Are these different types of UFOs from different origins or with different purposes, or are they all part of the same phenomenon? Were they alien motherships launching exploration probes as Loeb and Kirkpatrick have recently suggested?