UFO Conjectures

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Operation Mainbrace

While scouring Max Miller’s booklet, Flying Saucers: Fact or Fiction [Trend Books, 1957], pictured here, I found a segment on the 1952 NATO military exercise called Operation Mainbrace:
You can read about the operation via this Wikipedia link:

And a wonderfully thorough exegesis by Brit folklorist David Clarke of some UFO aspects that allegedly happened during the exercise here:

In the Miller book, Chapter Six, on Page 75, Miller offers commentary from Edward Ruppelt’s The Report on Unidentified  Flying Objects wherein Captain Ruppelt reports that an American press photographer, Wallace Litwin, who was taking color photographs of the operation while aboard the USS Franklin Roosevelt when he and some of the crew spotted “ … a silver sphere moving across the sky just behind a fleet of ships.”

Ruppelt wrote, “The object appeared to be large enough to show up in a photo, so the reporter took several pictures” that were developed right away and turned out to be excellent. [Litwin] had gotten the superstructure of the carrier in each one and judging by the size of the object in each successive photo, one could see that it was moving rapidly.”

The consensus, at the time, was that the object was a balloon, but “Naval Intelligence (which I think is where one will find more about the UFO phenomenon than in the Air Force files), double-checked, triple-checked and quadruple-checked every ship near the carrier, but they could find no one who had launched the UFO [meaning the balloon I assume].

[Italics are my commentary, not Ruppelt’s.]

Miller writes, “For some reason these three priceless, authenticated color photographs of an unidentified object – in action – have never been published. Why?”

I recall, vaguely, a photograph of an ill-defined light source in the clouds being passed around the UFO community as one of the photos taken by Litwin.

A YouTube video of The History Channel’s take, with UFO hunter/researcher Bill Birnes, on the Mainbrace exercise and the photos may be seen here:

I’m not particularly impressed by the photos


The Oskar Linke UFO Sighting

My pal Kevin Randle has presented a few postings about the early 1950s Oskar Linke sighting.
His most recent post dealt with the date of the sighting:

This from that posting:

“Hynek dated the case as July 9, 1952, but other sources said the sighting was June 17, 1950.”

I’ve written about the Oskar Linke sighting several times over the years, getting my information from the 1952 Fawcett booklet pictured here:
The Linke article in it [Page 142 ff.] comes from Antony Terry’s newspaper column in the London based Kemsley Newspapers.

And since the Fawcett publication is copyrighted 1952, I assume the Linke sighting took place in the earlier date, 1950, as the printing of the booklet would very likely have taken place too early in 1952 to include a sighting for that time-frame.

My interest in the sighting stems from its similarity to the 1964 Zamora/Socorro sighting:

Both witnesses stumbled upon a strange craft with two human-like figures, about 50 yards away; the figures wearing shimmering, metallic clothing in the Linke observation and white coveralls in the Zamora observation.

Zamora’s craft was egg-shaped whereas Linke’s “looked like [a] huge oval warming pan.” [Page 143]

Linke’s craft, once the figures re-entered it,, having been seen by the witness and his daughter, rose slowly then “swerved away … climbing over the hills …  toward Stockholm” having created “a whistling sound, rather like the noise of a falling bomb, but not nearly so loud.” [op.cit.]

These are drawings, made by an artist from Oskar Linke’s description of the craft, on the ground, and departing:
This is the affidavit that Linke and his step-daughter signed about their sighting:
This is a recap of the incident by UFO Evidence (which sets the sighting in 1952, errantly I think):

Oskar Linke was an escapee from Soviet Russia and an ex-mayor.

I’m disinclined to think he would perpetuate a hoax, much as we all agree that Police Officer Lonnie Zamora would unlikely create a hoax or fabricate his sighting.

Linke’s disk-like craft is attuned to a 1950ish technology: metallic with a conning tower that retracted into the craft when it took off.

(Zamora’s egg-shaped craft was odder, in that it wasn’t like space craft as depicted by fictional accounts or television/movies, or like pending space ships by the military.)

Linke’s object had all the earmarks of an actual craft that one might expect to see, from a Soviet or German technology of the time.

“Mr. George Edwards, chief designer for Vickers Aircraft, had this to say about [Linke’s] [German] East Zone ‘saucer’: If Herr Linke’s description is accurate, it may be that the machine is designed as a military hover plane. It would appear from his comment on it’s ‘glow’ that it houses a jet plant designed to provide vertical take-off.” [ibid, Page 144]