UFO Conjecture(s)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

A List of Best UFO Sightings?

While we’ve ragged on Paul Kimball for his filmed list of the best UFO sightings ever, we came across a list by former flying saucer “expert” William Spaulding, who provided his take on some top UFO sightings and events for The People’s Almanac’s The Book of Lists #2 by author Irving Wallace and family [William Morrow and Company, NY, 1980, Page 417 ff.].

His first offering was the McMinnville/Trent photos which we deem as bogus.


His next sighting was the 1952 Nash-Fortenberry Pan-Am encounter, over Norfolk, Virginia.


The third listing was the 1952 Washington D.C. incidents.


The fourth episode was the Ralph Mayher [sic] film of 1952.


Fifth was (another) 1952 radar/visual sighting of a USAF B-29 training crew over the Gulf of Mexico


Six on Spaulding’s list was the Kimball/Sparks B-47 incident, so there is some consensus that the sighting was and is significant.


Seventh in Spaulding list of eight is a November 1957 on the outskirts of Levelland, Texas where witnesses had encounters with a large UFO.


And eighth on Spaulding’s list was the 1976 Iranian encounter.


We won’t elaborate on Spaulding’s list, as we see lists as entertainment rather than edifying information.

But we note that Kimball and Sparks are not the only UFO aficionados to see the RB-47 event as a significant UFO encounter.

Again, the RB-47 sighting is interesting, but so are dozens of other sightings, including the B-29 sighting (number five, above) which has as many or more technical accoutrements as the RB-47 incident.

UFO hobbyists, each, have their favorite UFO sightings or stories – mine include the 1966 Ann Arbor/Dexter/Hillsdale sightings; the infamous “swamp gas” sightings.

But have any of these classic sightings given us a clue to the UFO enigma? Nope. So listing them is a futile, silly endeavor, that passes for research for some “ufologists” but they are fun to read, right?


  • Greetings Richie,

    One more time, what is more fascinating for me are the IFOs cases (I mean the UFO cases, sometimes awesome, very "solid" when appearing in the UFO casuistic and community, with a very hight ° of strangeness, testimoned by the "ideal winesses - pilots ie -........... but prosaïcaly explained later).

    It could be cool to see or to read a TOP 10 IFOs case too!

    Why? Because many IFOs have presented such hight levels of solidity, strangeness, etc. before to be identified as prosaïc.
    The crucial question (at least for me) is :
    There is or not any reason to see the residual cases something so different than IFO's not Yet explained (by lack of dataes, for example)?

    What is separating IFOs and UFOs?

    For my part, there are sufficient common denominators between IFOs and UFOs to be a psychosocial or psychocultural hypothesis proponent of the "UFO phenomenom". I'm a bad guy, I know.

    Best Regards,

    Gilles F.

    By Blogger Gilles. F., at Thursday, March 31, 2011  

  • I'm not sure how many people are calling it 'research' in posting lists or best cases. Rather it's an attempt to keep the good cases in the spotlight.

    For people who are new to the subject, they can offer a source of cases that at least remain open to speculation. They don't have the soft underbelly of the Meiers, Greers and Team Exo BS that present a sheen of victory for debunkerism. Attempting to keep some specific cases in a muted spotlight might even deflect people from the Bob Deans of Project Camelot...I hope so!

    Will a list advance our understanding of what the heck UFOs are? Nope. They can tell us what the UFOs aren't...maybe. On the bright side, they can kill a few column inches in the magazines and blogs.

    In a way, UFO lists are like coffee-table books...everyone has one, but who cares? Still, they do sell.

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Thursday, March 31, 2011  

  • Kandinsky:

    Coffee-table books, like Kramer's coffee-table book about coffee-tables (from the old Seinfeld show, circa 1992)?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, March 31, 2011  

  • Gilles:

    IFOs? Although there must be a gazillion, most of the classic sightings (Roswell among them) remain unsettled to the open-mind.

    Yah, yah, I know...Roswell?

    It still has an unexplained quality to it, which keeps it on the front burner for many, and just not the UFO nuts.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, March 31, 2011  

  • Most famous are the 12 'good unknowns' chosen by the Battelle Institute as the best unexplained Air Force UFO cases during the period they analysed (1947-52). These were taken directly from Project Blue Book. Battelle did no re-investigation of the cases, they went purely by the analysis & data given by the USAF.

    Now look at the list of unidentifieds given by the AF at the closure of Blue Book. 6 of the 12 best 'unknowns' are not even on this list. What happened to them?
    They obviously became IFOs.

    By Blogger cda, at Thursday, March 31, 2011  

  • The IFOs, CDA, seem to have gotten the 1984/Big Brother treatment by the USAF.

    That is, they just ended up being ignored, and were eventually subsumed by the AF fiat of "explained" -- much like what happened with the Roswell incident until the UFO boy resurrected it.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, March 31, 2011  

  • "Fifth was (another) 1952 radar/visual sighting of a USAF B-29 training crew over the Gulf of Mexico"

    That's one helluva case. It would be on my speculative list of which UFO cases Truman was briefed directly on by Gen. Landry, as would the Bethune case over Newfoundland.



    The DC 52 case is one I can't imagine not including in any list of compelling UFO cases.


    By Blogger Frank Stalter, at Saturday, April 02, 2011  

  • Yes, Frank, and in my not-so-humble opinion, I think the B-29 case is as good as or better than the RB47 incident.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, April 03, 2011  

  • Never looked all that close at either, but I was more familiar with the Gulf case because it happened during the Truman years, which I targeted for special attention after I got more actively involved in all this. You gotta have some limits. ;O)

    Bethune is a good one too, The size of a football field? Maybe the first "mothership" UFO sighting.

    By Blogger Frank Stalter, at Sunday, April 03, 2011  

  • Well, I'm glad that you, Frank, have no limits when it comes to studying UFOs.

    Most of the UFO crowd we interact with here, excluding you and Tony Bragalia, take the weekends off, thinking that UFOs are not as important as their down time, which shows me they are not really serious about UFO research, but just hobbyists at their core.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, April 03, 2011  

  • I'm a hobbyist, I get to it when I get to it. It's a good one for a rapidly aging guy like me.

    Almost playoff hockey time . . .


    By Blogger Frank Stalter, at Sunday, April 03, 2011  

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