Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cold case - Zanthus 22 August 1968 - Part two

Continuing on from the previous post - what the two aircraft captains thought they had seen.

The two page statement by Captain Smith continued:

"Notes on UFO

1. The distance from our aircraft of the UFO would be impossible to gauge, because the prerequisite to establishing distance is to know size, and the size of these objects are unknown. However, for comparison size, the main ship compared to that of Boeing 707from about 10 miles.

2. Immediately after the departure of the UFO radio communications were restored.

3. Neither Walter or myself had the presence of mind to check if any deviation existed in our magnetic compass or automatic direction finding equipment whilst in the presence of the UFOs.

4. The whole formation maintained the same distance and bearing from our aircraft during the whole time of the sighting.

Captain Gardin and myself discussed the sighting at length during and after and came to these conclusions:

Whether the UFOs were:
(a) Balloons.
(b) Gases.
(c) Trick of lights.
(d) Aircraft.

(a) If the sightings were balloons we considered it impossible to see these balloons from 30 miles, because this would have been the distance covered by the aircraft from the first sighting to the disappearance.

The UFO maintained the same distance throughout, whereas a free balloon would have a closure rate with us of 195kts our true airspeed and would have at least passed us.

(b) The same argument as above.

(c) If it were a trick of light, the colour of the UFO should have changed at somewhere or other, because the Sun had had a considerable traverse, coupled with our westward travel during this time. Also due to the last two facts any refracted light would have changed form dramatically, whereas the UFO had very little change of shape or colour.

(d) We concluded that the UFOs were in fact aircraft with the solidarity of aircraft except perhaps for the fact of the larger UFO ability to split and change shape slightly."

So, the two witnesses concluded that what they had seen were in fact aircraft, despite the lack of known traffic in the area.

In the next post I will outline just what the RAAF did with this sighting.

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