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The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects

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Author Topic: The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects  (Read 3465 times)
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« Reply #150 on: April 10, 2009, 01:06:28 pm »

story out of the papers. A report like this could cause some excitement.

The UFO obviously wasn't a planet because it was moving from north to south, and it was too slow to be an airplane. I called the balloon-plotting center at Lowry AFB, where the tracks of the big skyhook balloons are plotted, but the only big balloons in the air were in the western United States, and they were all accounted for.

It might have been a weather balloon. The wind charts showed that the high-altitude winds were blowing in different directions at different altitudes above 35,000 feet, so there was no one flow of air that could have brought a balloon in from a certain area, and I knew that the UFO had to be higher than 35,000 feet because the T-33 jet had been this high and the UFO was still above it. The only thing to do was to check with all of the weather stations in the area. I called Richmond, Roanoke, several places in the vicinity of Washington, D.C., and four or five other weather stations, but all of their balloons were accounted for and none had been anywhere close to the central part of Virginia.

A balloon can travel only so far, so there was no sense in checking stations too far away from where the people had seen the UFO, but I took a chance and called Norfolk; Charleston, West Virginia; Altoona, Pennsylvania; and other stations within a 150-mile radius of Gordonsville mid Blackstone. Nothing.

I still thought it might be a balloon, so I started to call more stations. At Pittsburgh I hit a lead. Their radiosonde balloon had gone up to about 60,000 feet and evidently had sprung a slow leak because it had leveled off at that altitude. Normally balloons go up till they burst at 80,000 or 90,000 feet. The weather forecaster at Pittsburgh said that their records showed they had lost contact with the balloon when it was about 60 miles southeast of their station. He said that the winds at 60,000 feet were constant, so it shouldn't be too difficult to figure out where the balloon went after they had lost it. Things must be dull in Pittsburgh at 2:00 A.M. on Monday mornings, because he offered to plot the course that the balloon probably took and call me back.

In about twenty minutes I got my call. It probably was their balloon, the forecaster said. Above 50,000 feet there was a strong flow of air southeast from Pittsburgh, and this fed into a stronger southerly flow that was paralleling the Atlantic coast just east of the Appalachian Mountains. The balloon would have floated along in this flow of air like a log floating down a river. As close as he could estimate, he said, the balloon would arrive in the Gordonsville-Blackstone area in the late afternoon or early evening. This was just about the time the UFO had arrived.

p. 146

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