The last Minot posting looked at the observation given by the November Flight Security Controller, SSgt James Bond. At some given time of the observations by the missile maintenance team enroute to N-07, Bond would have dispatched his security response team, A1C Joseph Jablonski and Gregory Adams.
When reviewing SSgt Bond's AF-117 and later 2005 interview by Tom Tulien, there is a matter of confusion regarding the actual physical location of the Adams and Jablonski. Bond's AF-117 gives the impression that both men were physically located on N-01, the Launch Control Facility. Bond's interview with Tulien states that both men were off site.
If we are to go by A1C Jablonski's AF-117, he makes it clear that he and Adams are on N-01 which confoms to Bond's AF-117. In a 2005 interview, Jablonski states that he and others (Adams, and off duty SAT) where outside looking at the lights. Based on this information, it can be assumed that both Adams and Jablonski were physically on N-01 prior to being dispatched to N-07.
I've chosen not to delve into Adams AF-117 content due to it being almost identical to that of Joseph Jablonski's observation. My initial comparison of the two led me to believe that Adams merely copied Jablonski's AF-117. Tom Tulien and I have discussed this in the past and I believe there is agreement that this was more than likely probable. Adams' AF-117 can be viewed here.
His AF-117 annotates that he first saw the object at 0308 and his visual observation ended at 0518. Per a diagram which he drew the object/light was first observed some 9 miles S/E of N-01 [N-07 would have been seen somewhat in the S/E, 10 miles away from N-01]. A second diagram shows the object/light 2-3 miles S/E when he and Adams either arrived at, or where on site at N-07.
Per Jablonski, the first observation showed the object/light to be 30 degrees above the horizon in a SSE direction. His last observation showed the object/light to have descended 15 degrees above the horizon in a WSW direction [assuming this vantage point from N-07?].
Jablonski, dispatched to N-07, is the passenger in the vehicle moving at 30 mph. He and Adams apparently stopped along the way and object/light not affected by the actually movement of the vehicle. [This assumes that Adams is driving and both agree to make a quick stop for visual observations]
Annotated is the fact that he is aware that a B-52 has been diverted to the general area. The aircraft is first seen and heard approximately 35 minutes after the first sighting of the object. [approximately 0343?]. The object stayed basically to the SE, while the B-52 was in the direction of S/W.
Duration of the sighting lasted approximately 2 hours off and on. Jablonski based this time line on the length of time while out on dispatch. The object appeared as orange-red, seemingly switching to almost completely white with some green also seen. This pattern was not always the same.
The object first appeared to hover then move slowly. It would speed up alternating in color. The light would vanish but return some 5 minutes later.
When first dispatched to N-07, another object exactly the same appeared out of the east and had picked up speed in a path moving towards the other. Jablonski never saw the tow objects join or meet as the second object disappeared and no longer could be seen. [the B-52?]
The night was clear with a few stars visible. There was no moon light. Major sources of illumination was the vehicle head lights and the site lights on N-07. The object was self luminous with glowing orange-red, white and green which alternated at times. The object appeared solid although not very wide and slender is shape. The edges were fuzzy. The lights were much too bright to determine an exact shape. This object appeared much too bright to be a star.
What drew Jablonski's attention to the object/light was other people had brought it to his attention. Although he had not seen it immediately, others gave a good estimate of location. It reappeared 3 or 4 minutes later and was quite bright and gradually weakened.
Prior to returning to N-01, it caught our attention again. This time WSW in location. It appeared as before starting bright orange-red to white and finally to green. The object was stationary at times appearing 1000 feet above ground. Green light started to diminish slowly till no longer seen.
Just prior to his sighting, the diverted B-52 in the WSW, the object had descended gradually and for 1 to 2 minutes had appeared to be obstructed by trees. [The B-52 is seen WSW. Jablonski is the first witness to describe that something on the ground blocked the view of the object: trees.]
The object appeared to be solid matter. The illumination rendered no logical shape to be determined. It appeared quiet slim and not very wide. [Description of B-52?] Object appeared to move more the westerly direction until the last and final illuminations at 0510. Lasting until approximately 0518 when it could no longer be seen. Estimated speed of the object was 70 knots with a distance of 3-5 miles. The object made no noise and left no physical trace.
As to the alternating illumination, particularly the white, it appeared as two or three automobile headlights. When the B-52 had flown its search, it had been using its landing lights which were quite similar in nature. As to avoid confusion between the plane and the object, Base Ops had pointed out where and when we saw the B-52. Must add that the B-52's engines could be easily heard while the UFO made no sounds to be heard at the same distance.
The object had various maneuvers which occurred basically in one general area. It stayed pretty well SSE of the launch facility, but had several times started northwards and westwards always returning to its previous SSE position. For some reason it appeared to be traveling (trying to), but never did see it take the direct path.
When the B-52 flew in the vicinity (SSE) it was no longer seen in that location. [Assuming he meant the object] When he started leaving back to N-01, B-52 already left the area. Object approximately west. Object remained until it finally disappeared about 15 minutes later.
Jablonski lists on AF-117 that A1C Adams, SSgt Bond, A1C O'Connor where with him. [Bond while at the LCF]
Report made to SSgt Bond on 24 Oct 1968. AF-117 completed 25 Oct 1968
End of AF-117 content.
Notes of interest
1. Sighting duration lasted about 2 hours, 0308-0518.
2. Object seen from the LCF and LF in a S/E direction.
3. May have been seen SSE, then last seen WSW. Isley's AF-117 states that object seen due East then S/E. Isley states that object last seen from N-07 SE of site. Why the difference, as both Jablonski and Isley were on N-07 together and would have been observing the same object(s)? Different object versus that of confusing the B-52 as the object? The object stayed in the S/E while the B-52 was primarily in the S/W.
4. Object changed colors, orange-red, white then green. Jablonski could not discern any shape.
5. Object appeared to stop/hover.
6. Jablonski says the night is clear. What happened to the hazy conditions as previously reported?
7. N-07 had its site lights on with head lights from vehicle. Did these sources of light pollution hamper the observation of the object in question?
8. Object disappeared in WSW location. Noted to be the same general area as that of the B-52.
9. When comparing AF-117s of those who where on or near N-07, there is apparent confusion of the object versus that of the B-52. Jablonski's AF-117 does not match up with the maintenance team's observation, yet all were eventually on N-07 observing something in the sky.
10. Jablonski's entry in section 15 appears to describe the profile of the B-52 with its landing lights illuminated. The B-52 made noise, as well it would, but no noise came from the object/light. Is it reasonable to infer a stellar source or something else?
Jablonski's AF-117 provides good details of what he saw that night. Granted, its different from O'Connor and Isley's observation in many ways. It's unfortunate that A1C Adams did not render an independent description of his own observation as this could have provided other details that either corroborated or differed based on his perception of the event.
Its interesting that there is some disagreements with the direction of the observations. I'm not overly concerned whether someone observed something S/E of their location while another saw the same phenomena SSE. Both directions tend to be basically the same to the casual observer, plus I'm sure that Jablonski/Adams and O'Connor/Isley did not have a compass on hand obtaining precise coordinates.
The same could be said of the elevations listed above the horizon. These figures were more than likely established through best estimation and/or using a possible landmark as a frame of reference. Not to mention that these figures were derived some days after the incident relying then on memory recall. In a memo for record, LtCol Werlich provides some details as explaining to the ground observers how to estimate elevation and direction.
What did strike me was that four individuals differed as to the final location of the sighted object. Jablonski/Adams state the object is last seen WSW of N-07, while O'Connor/Isley saw the object last S/E. The two directions are significantly different and to add to the mix that the B-52 was either S/W or WSW of N-07 leads to the possibility that the aircraft may have visually supplanted the initial observed object.
After another review of Jablonski's and Isley's AF-117s and plotting the initial and last observations on a map the observations may actually be fairly similar respective to both observers. It becomes readily apparent that both are describing an initial observed object (East or S/E of N-07) and then go on to describe an object flying south of N-07 in a westerly direction. The only difference is the final observation point listed by both individuals.
Comparing Lloyd Isley's and Joeseph Jablonski's Sightings.
Above is the estimated point of initial observation of the object/light that O'Connor and Isley observed approximately midway between N-01 and N-07 (5 miles). The object/light was seen due east of their location apparently moving south at slow speed.
Above is the initial observation by Jablonski and others while on the LCF, N-01. Object/light observed to be SE of the LCF.
The above is the initial observation (A) SE, and last observation (B) WSW of Jablonski and Adams while both on N-07.
The above is a overlay of both initial and last observations by O'Connor/Isley and Jablonski/Adams. Note that I've included the due east initial observation that O'Connor/Isley stated in their AF-117, but the reader should know that this initial observation point was actually 5 miles north of N-07.
Yellow: Joseph Jablonski's observational area. A= first sighting, B= last sighting.
Red: Lloyd Isley's observational area. A= first sighting, B= last sighting.
Red Oval: Isley's description of object in a circular orbit south of N-07. Actual area size is questionable (could be larger) based on Isley's diagram on his AF-117.
Lloyd Isley states in his AF-117 that object first sighted due east while he and O'Connor where enroute to N-07. While on N-07, he describes the object south of the launch facility in a circular pattern which I dubbed a "racetrack" or orbit. Isley is very much aware that a B-52 is in the area. It is possible that Isley is describing the flight of the B-52 which may have visually supplanted the object which he first observed. Notice that the potential flight path of the object closely corresponds to the flight path of the aircraft which accomplished two passes near the launch facility, moving SE towards the West then returning to the SE. Could this possibly have been the aircraft returning back to base?
From lloyd Isley's AF-117:
"We first saw the object to the east of us while we were traveling toward the site. It started moving south. We arrived at the site and then started observing the object from outside the truck. It was moving in a large circular area to the south."
"The object had lights on the front like head lights or landing lights. It had green flashing light toward the middle or rear. I could not tell any shape or size."
"It came within hearing distance twice. The sound was that of jet engines. It was in this same area for two or three hours."
"When we last saw it, the object was in the SE and went low and out of sight."
Jablonski initially saw the object 2-3 miles SE or SSE of N-07. He last observed the object WSW of N-07.
"The object had various maneuvers which occurred basically in one general area. It stayed pretty well SSE of the launch facility, but had several times started northwards and westwards, always returning to its previous SSE position. For some reason it appeared to be traveling but never did see it take the direct path."
"When the B-52 flew in the vacinity (SSE) it was no longer seen in that location."
What was being observed?
When taking into account the above information, we are left with three options:
1. Stellar component which was proposed by Project Blue Book, yet later to be discarded by Jablonski, Isley and O'Connor. Sirius was prominent in the East and Rigel in the SE at 1 AM. By 0300, Sirius would have been seen in the S/E and Rigel approximately due South. By 0500, Sirius would have been seen in the SSE and Rigel in the SSW. Both teams differ as to the elevation above the horizon for their respective reports.
2. The possibility that the first observed object eventually is visually merged with the presence of the B-52 which would account for the SE to W movement of the object. This could easily explain the observations that the initial object split into two separate objects seen south of N-07.
3. The object/light was neither a misidentified star nor the B-52. This would correspond to what was perceived by all of the ground observers. All readily acknowledged the presence of the B-52. All stated that they would be able to discern a bright light to that of a star.
Another question arises from the combined observations. All described the speed of the object/light as being slow or moving at 70 knots. Later on in this blog series the B-52's radar would show that the UFO was maneuvering at a speed exceeding 3000 mph. How does this conform to the ground personnel that did not describe an object moving at such high speeds?