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Incident at Exeter, Pt. 1 of 2 (Hynek).repost

After reading Hynek's analysis of the case, one can
click on the title above for more information re Exeter,
especially THIS.
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11/18/2008 jc: I've removed my note to Errol re line length 
to get right to the subject at hand.
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Date: Tue, 21 Jan 1997 22:52:52 -0500
To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
From: "Jerry Cohen" <rjcohen@li.net>
Subject: Incident at Exeter, Pt. 1 of 2 (Hynek)

Hello out there,

For those people that read the Oberg/Cooper series, I had mentioned
that Dr. Hynek, the Air Force's number one civilian astronomical
consultant, slowly turned from a debunker to a believer and I cited
some things that happened along the way to cause this.

The following case, also located in Blue Book files, had to
be one of the major precipitating factors. I had recently
posted a brief summary of the case in a post to John Powell.
Most researchers are quite familiar with it, but for those
people out there not old enough to remember, but who are reading
this mail and attempting to fathom where some of the researchers
today are coming from, this was just one of many items that Dr.
Hynek found impossible to reconcile in his many years dealing
with UFO reports. It sounds like science fiction, but it was on the
police blotter and in Blue Book files.

Remember, we only need one of these cases we are mentioning
along the way to be the real thing for us to demonstrate the
necessity for the varied research being performed today by
various civilian groups. You may not agree with all their
methods, but _someone_ has to examine this thing seriously.
The scientific establishment has simply shaken its head and
said; "We don't know what it was or if it was real." This
was not much help to the two patrolmen who "experienced" and
reported the following events. God knows we need more
"scientists" taking it seriously.

Excerpt below taken directly from:
Hynek, J. Allen . "The Hynek UFO Report" . paperback, pp
154-166 . Dell Publishing Co. 1977 : which included material
therein from Blue Book files.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


The "Incident at Exeter" - September 3, 1965 *

Dr. Hynek:  "Incident" is hardly the term for this classic
Close Encounter case which is known to virtually all who
have followed the UFO phenomenon.  This encounter at Exeter,
New Hampshire gained national prominence, and caused both
the original witnesses and the Air Force considerable
embarrassment. Not only is this a fine example of a Close
Encounter of the First Kind, but it is a showcase
illustration of Blue Book negligence, put-down of witnesses,
attempts to explain away the testimony of responsible
witnesses with a parade of "official" explanations, and of
capitulation on the part of the Pentagon which, months
later, had to admit that the case should have been carried
as "Unidentified."  The file folders in Blue Book, however,
still have the original evaluation of "Astro-Stars/Planets"
and "Aircraft for Operation Big Blast." (The astronomical
evaluation is completely untenable and Operation Big Blast
terminated more than an hour before the incident at Exeter
began, according to official records.)

     The story of this case is well documented in John Fuller's book
"The Incident at Exeter," and in an excellent report by Raymond
Fowler and his associates, who did a far better job investigating
the case than did Blue Book. I am indebted to Mr. Fowler for the
excerpts from his report that follow. Blue Book files on this case
are fairly extensive in themselves although they draw heavily on the
report by Mr. Fowler.

     Blue Book's first mention of the incident at Exeter is dated
October 15, 1965, and comes in the form of a request from the
Headquarters of the 817th Air Division (SAC) at Pease AFB, New
Hampshire. Written by their Director of Information for the
Commander, and addressed to the Information Officer at
Wright-Patterson AFB, it reads:

                          . . .

     There have been an unusually high number of reported sightings
of unidentified flying objects in the Pease AFB, New Hampshire, area
which have been the subject of much discussion and numerous
newspaper, radio and television reports. Many of these sightings
have been reported to this base and your records will show that we
have performed thorough investigations of the . . . Several members
of this command have actually been called to view UFOs by sincere
and sober citizens but as yet, we have always been too late or
"unlucky." The most interesting sighting, in the nearby town of
Exeter, aroused special interest as two policemen saw the object at
very close range. . .

     This office has, of course, not commented on sightings reported
to the Air Force other than to say that they have been or are being
investigated, that the reports will be sent to your organization,
that further releases will be made from the Public Information
Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, etc. The fact that we
cannot comment on the investigations has led to somewhat alarming
suspicion of Air Force motives and interest in this area, the most
popular belief being that "...the Air Force won't release the truth
because if the truth were known, everyone would be panicked." I
have attempted to counter this by explaining the USAF's interest in
this matter every time I speak to the press or private citizens
about this matter. . . Still, however, an alarming number of people
remain unconvinced {!}.

     Many members of the two nearby Military Affairs committees and
key citizens from surrounding towns and cities have inquired
concerning the possibility of an Air Force speaker on this subject.
Do you operate a speaker's bureau or would you be able to suggest
where I might be able to obtain knowledge of an Air Force spokesman
who could explain the Air Force UFO program and what happens to
reports sent to your organization? If speakers from your
organization are available, it might be possible for us to arrange
transportation via Pease Base C-47, Billeting poses no problem.

     Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

                                     For the Commander
                                     A.B.B., 1st Lt. USAF
                                     Director of Information

Dr. Hynek:  The initial report which came in from Pease AFB
on September 15, 1965, was the soul of brevity.

     "The following report of an unidentified object is
hereby submitted in accordance with AFR-200-2.

   A) Description of Object
      1) round
      2) baseball
      3) bright red
      4) five red lights in a row
      5) lights were close together and moved as one object
      6) none
      7) none
      8) none
      9) extremely bright red
   B) Description of Course of Object
      1) visual sighting
      2) object was at an altitude of approximately 100 feet
         and moved in an arc of 135 degrees
      3) object disappeared at an altitude of approximately
         one hundred feet on a magnetic heading of
         approximately 160 degrees
      4) the object was erratic in movement and would
         disappear behind houses and building in the area.
         It would then appear at a position other than where
         it disappeared. When in view, it would act as a
         floating leaf.
      5) object departed on a heading of 160 degrees and was
         observed until it disappeared in the distance
      6) one hour
   C) Manner of Observation
      1) ground-visual
      2) none
      3) N/A
   D) Time and Date of Sighting
      1) 3/9/0600 Z
      2) night
   E) Location of Observer
      1) 3 nautical miles SW of Exeter in New Hampshire
   F) Identifying Information of Observer
      1) civilian, Norman J. Muscarello, age 18.... appears
         to be reliable.
      2) civilian, Eugene F. Bertrand, Jr., age 30, Exeter
         Police Department, Exeter, New Hampshire,
         patrolman, reliable
      3) civilian, David R. Hunt, age 28, Exeter Police
         Department, Exeter, New Hampshire, patrolman,
         reliable
   G) Weather and Winds
      1) weather was clear with no known weather phenomena.
         There was a five-degree inversion from surface to
         5,000'.
      2) winds at Pease AFB (the winds were uniformly from
         the west, low velocity near the surface to quite
         high above 10,000')
      3) clear (unlimited)
      4) 30 nautical miles
      5) None
      6) None
   H) None
   I) None
   J) None
   K) Major David H. Griffin, Base Disaster Control Officer,
      Command pilot
      1) at this time I have been unable to arrive at a
         probable cause of this sighting. The three
         observers seem to be stable, reliable persons,
         especially the two patrolmen. I viewed the area of
         the sighting and found nothing in the area that
         could be the probable cause. Pease AFB had five
         B-47 aircraft flying in the area during this period
         but I do not believe that they had any connection
         with this sighting.

Dr. Hynek:  The report in Blue Book continues with the statements of
the three witnesses involved. The first, from Norman Muscarello,
follows:

     I, Norman J. Muscarello, was hitchhiking on Rt. 150,
three miles south of Exeter, New Hampshire, at 0200 hours on
the 3rd of September. A group of five bright red lights
appeared over a house about a hundred feet from where I was
standing. The lights were in a line at about a sixty-degree
angle. They were so bright, they lighted up the area. The
lights then moved out over a large field and acted at times
like a floating leaf. They would go down behind the trees,
behind a house and then reappear. They always moved in the
same sixty-degree angle. Only one light would be on at a
time. They were pulsating: one, two, three, four, five,
four, three, two, one. They were so bright I could not
distinguish a form to the object. I watched these lights for
about fifteen minutes and they finally disappeared behind
some trees and seemed to go into a field. At one time while
I was watching them, they seemed to come so close I jumped
into a ditch to keep from being hit. After the lights went
into a field, I caught a ride to the Exeter Police Station
and reported what I had seen.
                                 signed,
                                 Norman J. Muscarello


Dr. Hynek:  The statement from the first patrolman, who after being
called to the scene also witnessed the UFO:

     I, Eugene F. Bertrand, Jr., was cruising on the morning
of the 3rd of September at 0100 on Rt. 108 bypass near
Exeter, New Hampshire. I noticed an automobile parked on the
side of the road and stopped to investigate. I found a woman
in the car who stated she was too upset to drive. She stated
that a light had been following her car and had stopped over
her car. I stayed with her about fifteen minutes but was
unable to see anything. I departed and reported back to
Exeter Police Station where I found Norman Muscarello. He
related his story of seeing some bright red lights in the
field. After taking him back to where he stated that he had
seen the lights. When we had gone about fifty feet, a group
of five bright red lights came from behind a group of trees
near us. They were extremely bright and flashed on one at a
time. The lights started to move around over the field. At
one time, they came so close I fell to the ground and
started to draw my gun. The lights were so bright, I was
unable to make out any form. There was no sound or vibration
but the farm animals were upset in the area and were making
a lot of noise. When the lights started coming near us
again, Mr. Muscarello and I ran to the car. I radioed
Patrolman David Hunt who arrived in a few minutes. He also
observed the lights which were still over the field but not
as close as before. The lights moved out across the field at
an estimated altitude of one hundred feet, and finally
disappeared in the distance at the same altitude. The lights
were always in line at about a sixty-degree angle. When the
object moved, the lower lights were always forward of the
others.

                               signed,
                               Eugene F. Bertrand, Patrolman

     Dr. Hynek:  From the third witness:

     I, David R. Hunt, at about 0255 on the morning of the
3rd of September, received a call from Patrolman Bertrand to
report to an area about three miles southwest of Exeter, New
Hampshire. Upon arriving at the scene, I observed a group of
bright red lights flashing in sequence. They appeared to be
about one half mile over a field to the southeast. After
observing the lights for a short period of time, they moved
off in a southeasterly direction and disappeared in the
distance. The lights appeared to remain at the same altitude
which I estimate to be about one hundred feet.

                              signed,
                              David R. Hunt, Patrolman

Dr. Hynek:  Blue Book's way of dealing with these witnesses'
reports was to make every effort to locate some type of
aircraft operation in the area in question; none was
successful.

     A news clip from the Amesbury News, Massachusetts,
stated that the UFO was identified as an "ad gimmick"; but
Ray Fowler checked with the Skylight Aerial Advertising
Company and was advised that their aircraft was _not_ flying
on the night of September 3. He was also informed that the
company aircraft rarely flew into southern New Hampshire,
and when it did, it was usually in the Salem and Manchester
areas, miles away from Exeter. Furthermore, he learned that
the "Skylight" aircraft does not carry red flashing lights;
it carries a rectangular sign with white flashing lights.
Yet the manager of the advertising company had stated to the
Amesbury News that "perhaps some UFOs reported in the New
Hampshire area could have been their aircraft."
Unfortunately, the press anxiously latched on to this bit of
irrelevant information to "explain" the Exeter case.

     The two simultaneous investigations of this case are an
interesting study in contrasts. The Air Force records are at
best sketchy, and focus essentially on attempts at locating
existing aircraft in the area; as usual, Blue Book started
out its investigation with a negative premise. On the other
hand, Raymond Fowler and his associates made an exhaustive
examination of the case, keeping their minds open at all
times. Their final reports were duly submitted to Blue Book.

     The following is excerpted from Fowler's report, which
supplements Muscarello's statement to the Air Force
investigator:
                          . . .

     Muscarello reported the incident to Desk Officer
Reginald Towland at about 1:45 A.M. EDT. Side view and angle
view seen. He was hit with fear and hardly able to talk. A
radio call was made to Officer Bertrand asking him to return
to the station, pick up Muscarello, and investigate at the
scene of the sighting which he did. Upon arriving at the Carl
Dining field, the object was nowhere to be seen. After
waiting and looking from the cruiser for several minutes,
Bertrand radioed headquarters that there was nothing there
and that the boy must have been imagining things. It was
then suggested that he examine the field before returning,
so Bertrand and Muscarello advanced into the field. As the
police officer played his flashlight beam back and forth
over the field, Muscarello sighted the object rising slowly
from behind some nearby trees and shouted. Bertrand swung
around and saw a large dark object carrying a straight row
of four extraordinarily bright, red, pulsating lights coming
into the field at treetop level. It swung around toward them
and just clearing a sixty-to seventy-foot tree and seemingly
only one hundred feet away from them. Instinctively, Officer
Bertrand drew his service revolver (he stated that
Muscarello shouted, "Shoot it!"), but thinking this unwise,
replaced it and yelled to Muscarello to take cover in the
cruiser. He told me (Fowler) that he was afraid that they
both would be burnt by the blinding lights closing in on
them. They ran to the cruiser where Bertrand immediately put
in a radio call to headquarters for assistance. Officer Hunt
arrived within minutes, and the trio observed the object
move away over and below the tree line.

Dr. Hynek:   Now let us return to the Blue Book coverage for
a look at an interesting exchange of letters between the
then Major Quintanilla and the police officers involved.
Quintanilla states:

     Our investigations and evaluation of the sighting
indicates a possible association with the Air Force
operation "Big Blast." In addition to aircraft from this
operation, there were five (5) B-47 aircraft flying in the
area during this period. Before final evaluation of your
sighting can be made, it is essential for us to know if
either of you witnessed any aircraft in the area during this
time period, either independently or in connection with the
observed object. Since there were many aircraft in the area,
at he time, and there were no reports of unidentified
objects from personnel engaged in this air operation, we
might then assume that the objects observed between midnight
and two A.M. might be associated with this military air
operation. If, however, these aircraft were noted by either
of you, this would tend to eliminate this air operation as a
possible explanation for the objects observed.

                             Signed,
                             Hector Quintanilla, Jr.
                             Major, USAF, Chief,
                             Project Blue Book


Hynek's Analysis of Exeter: continued in part two

*       Fuller, John G. "Incident at Exeter" . A Berkley Medallion
Book . Pub. G.P. Putnam's Sons Distributed by Berkley Publishing
Corporation . 1/67



Respectfully,
Jerry Cohen

E-mail:  rjcohen@li.net

Page from the website of: CohenUFO.org



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