Project Blue Book Cancelled

I finally made it through the first season of Project Blue Book, just a few days before the History Channel announced that the show has been cancelled. I was initially reluctant to watch the series because it didn’t do serious UFO researchers any favors. Yes, it’s true, the episodes are loosely based on real Air Force files (code-named Project Blue Book) and some high-profile cases. It’s also true that Dr. J. Allen Hynek served as a consultant to Project Blue Book. The Air Force hired him to debunk UFOs by ascribing them to misidentified natural phenomena such as Mars, Venus, meteors, temperature inversions, and even swamp gas. Hyneck himself tells this story in his books on the subject. Eventually, over the course of more than a decade, Hyneck went from skeptical debunker to serious researcher and UFO believer.

This was a great show. At UFOdays.net, we might be biased, but it’s sad to see Blue Book pulled off the air. I’ll admit that, as a researcher in the field and an avid reader of Project Bluebook files, I was pretty excited about the release of the History Channel series. A lot of people were. The New York Times even did a feature on the show shortly after it premiered last year. Read More

Something Very Real

Flying Saucers 1947: Chapter Four

When the Arnold story first appeared in print, several corroborating stories immediately surfaced from earlier months in 1947 and, in some cases, even before. People who had recently witnessed a strange sight in the sky that they could not explain came forward and reported their stories to local newspapers. Most never caught the attention of government investigators. The incidents also occurred outside of the United States. International stories of the phenomenon are rare, but they do exist. Sightings occurred over Bombay, in Budapest, in Belgium, and in South America.[1] The hundreds of sightings that occurred in the United States in 1947 are more readily available because US newspapers eagerly documented them during the height of the wave. Many of the anecdotes can be easily dismissed as meteors, misidentified military aircraft, drifting weather balloons, and even unusual cloud formations. Some of the stories, however, seem to describe encounters with the type of unexplained phenomenon witnessed by Kenneth Arnold.

Burning the Wind over Tennessee

Summer 1945

Charlie T. Hamlet began reading reports about Kenneth Arnold and the flying saucer phenomenon in early July because he was in charge of the news copy room for the Kingsport Times News of Kingsport, Tennessee. He read the stories coming over the newswire with great interest; he had experienced something similar two years earlier. In the summer of 1945, not long before the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Charlie Hamlet saw several discs “burning the wind” over his house. The Associated Press picked up his retelling of the story, and it circulated in papers around the country.[2]

“They were disc-like in shape and looked to be the size of a man’s head,” he said. “They were of a bright aluminum color, were going at terrific speed and disappeared over the high school, about three blocks down the street.” Read More

Pentagon Releases UFO Videos

While world headlines are dominated by Covid-19, the Pentagon quietly and unceremoniously released to the public the three gun-camera videos of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena which have been circulating since 2017. CNN covered the story. This comes some seven months after the Navy confirmed that the videos in circulation were authentic and do indeed depict US pilot encounters with unidentified aerial phenomena.

Gimbel2The three videos popularly titled Gimbal, Tic-tac, and Go-Fast have become the most-featured UFO evidence in history, appearing in innumerable new stories, articles, films, television features, documentaries, and blogs like this. The new officially released versions of the video do not reveal any new information. They are the same videos we’ve been watching for more than two years. So what is the significance of an official Pentagon release of the videos?

Read More

Early Birds

Flying Saucers 1947: Chapter Three

By the time US Army Air Force Intelligence Officers Captain William Lee Davidson and First Lieutenant Frank Mercer Brown met Kenneth Arnold on July 12, the great Flying Saucer wave of 1947 was in full swing. The daily papers featured saucer sighting stories, some spurious and some serious. The Air Force was particularly interested in sightings reported by what they considered to be credible and qualified observers—people with military experience, people familiar with aircraft, scientists, and meteorologists. Sightings which reportedly occurred on or before June 24 carried additional potential to corroborate Arnold’s sighting or possibly reveal details which might explain the origins of the phenomenon. According to, Edward J. Ruppelt, onetime head of Project Blue Book, the Project Sign “Estimate of the Situation” pointed out that “reports hadn’t actually started with the Arnold Incident. Belated reports from a weather observer in Richmond, Virginia, who observed a ‘silver disk’ through his theodolite telescope; and F-47 pilot and three pilots in his formation who saw a ‘silver flying wing,’ and the English ‘ghost airplanes’ that had been picked up on radar early in 1947 proved this point.”[1]

The Balloon Man

Richmond, Virginia, April 1947

When Davidson and Brown interviewed Kenneth Arnold, they told him that he was not the first to have seen the phenomena. They had in their possession reports of other sightings, some from as early as April of that year. Thanks to the Air Force’s Project Blue Book files, we can examine the April case that Davidson and Brown had in mind, a case also referenced in the “Estimate of the Situation.” Read More

The Man who saw the Men from Mars

Flying Saucers 1947: Chapter Two

UFO literature has thoroughly documented, retold, and embellished the Kenneth Arnold story ad nauseum. Another telling of the same events will not contribute anything new to what has already been narrated so many times. Nevertheless, the broader media story of the 1947 flying saucer wave hinges on that single event to such an extent that another recapitulation cannot be omitted. Even beyond his initial sighting, Arnold played a significant role in the strange drama that unfolded over the summer of 1947. Moreover, several points of his story require clarification, and objections raised by skeptics deserve some attention.

Publicity around Arnold’s sighting has never completely subsided. For the last seventy-three years, a steady stream of publications, books, documentaries, and programs on the history of the UFO phenomenon reference the Kenneth Arnold sighting and retell his story. Arnold himself was ultimately persuaded to contribute his own telling of the story in a sensationalized and partially fictionalized book he co-authored with Raymond Palmer, an editor of science fiction pulp magazines. He and Palmer titled the book The Coming of the Saucers.

The Man Who Started Mass Hysteria

According to the conventional version of the story, the great flying saucer wave of 1947 began when private pilot and businessman Kenneth Arnold reported an air-to-air sighting of nine resplendent flying objects in formation over the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. He described them as saucer-shaped. The Associated Press picked up Arnold’s saucer story, sending the sensational headlines to newspapers across the United States. Read More

UFO Researcher in Hudson, WI

Chad Lewis is a lot like you. He’s interested in weird stuff.

Lewis has made a name for himself as a researcher and writer in the field of UFOs and other weird supernatural stuff. He’s an established author, lecturer, and researcher in the field of the paranormal with a library of books bearing his name.

Despite the subject matter in which he is interested, Lewis is not a fruitcake. He has a Bachelors and Masters in Psychology, but for more than two decades, he has been travelling the globe in search of unique and bizarre stories and history. How did he get started down this path? Right here in Wisconsin with local Wisconsin UFO stories.

We recently caught up with Lewis in February 2020 when he gave a talk on UFOs at the public library in Hudson, WI. Check out this video interview on the subject of Wisconsin UFOs.

Lewis now conducts regular speaking engagements across Wisconsin and further abroad. If we were really clever, we’d get him scheduled to come speak at Elmwood’s annual UFO Days festival. You can check out Lewis at his website and you can buy his books on Amazon.

Operation Charlie and the X Raids

Flying Saucers 1947: Chapter One

The UFO wave of 1947 begins in January of that year with a series of UFO incursions over England. RAF pilots attempted to intercept the intruders, and the mysterious craft were tracked on radar.

Charlie the X-Raider

On the evening of January 16, 1947, Flight Lieutenant David Richards took his post as a senior controller and second in command of the Filter Room at Bentley Priory.[1] Discretely tucked away in the midst of fifty acres of beautiful wooded commons in the London suburb of Stanmore, the magnificent Victorian mansion of Bentley Priory seems an unlikely place for a Royal Air Force command center. The enormous hall looks more like the palatial home featured in the BBC’s popular Downton Abbey than it looks like an air force base, but it served the RAF in that capacity from 1936 to 2008. From its headquarters behind those walls, RAF Fighter Command conducted strategic operations, planned and coordinated the great Battle of Britain, and formed the plans for the invasion of Normandy. Read More

Air Force UFO Spy and Piecemeal Disclosure

How are we supposed to believe anything this guy says?

Richard Doty was a featured speaker at a recent UFO convention (UFO Mega Con in Laughlin, NV), and after his presentation, he sat down for an exclusive interview to Mystery Wire’s George Knapp. You should watch the interview. Doty says some wild stuff. He believes that the MJ12 documents (although fake) have some basis in reality, that Area 51 has a UFO connection in the form of a secret satellite surveillance program that has possibly photographed extraterrestrial craft, that Bob Lazar’s stories are probably mostly accurate maybe, that there really is some deep government conspiracy that swallows up UFO evidence, and that UFOs pose a credible threat to national security.

The man sounds credible (except the dodgy endorsement of Bob Lazar for the sake of Knapp which Doty avoids by clarifying that he did not have access to the same levels of Area 51 as Lazar would have been working). But honestly, why should we believe him now? Read More

Govt Program Disclosure: UFO’s are Real

If you’ve been waiting for an official government Disclosure about the existence of UFOs, a new investigative piece of journalism from Popular Mechanics just beat the government to the punch. The long and in-depth article titled “Inside the Pentagon’s Secret UFO Program” reveals the origin and history of the formerly secret Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) and its involvement with defense contractor Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS). It’s a long read but here’s the quick short version: UFOs are real, the government knows it, has plenty of evidence to prove it, but it doesn’t want to admit it, doesn’t know how deal with it, and doesn’t know what to do about it. Read More

Weyauwega UFO Photos

In February 2003, a woman and her son watched a UFO pass overhead in Weyauwega, a small Wisconsin town about fifty miles west of Green Bay. The woman happened to have a camera in hand and snapped two shots, capturing an image which seems to depict the underside of a saucer-shaped craft bearing three triangular-spaced white lights and dimmer red light set off from the others.

I just remember my son asking me over and over what it was, and I didn’t have a clue.

A recent post at UFO Insight brought this intriguing 2003 story and its accompanying photos to our attention. According to the original report in UFO Roundup (Vol. 8., No. 9, 2003), the photographer asked to remain anonymous, but she did relate the story of how she acquired the photographs.

The anonymous woman reported, “My son and I were visiting a friend of mine in Weyauwega, Wis. (population 1,806). The general location was just north of Main Street on the east side of Highway 110 and south of the Wisconsin Central Railroad tracks. My boy was sledding in the snow, and I was taking pictures. It was in the evening and starting to get dark pretty quickly. My son pointed up to the sky, and we noticed some lights coming in from what I believe was the southwest.”

Her son wanted to know what the object was. It must have been moving silently because, initially, she assumed it was some type of balloon. Fortunately, she had been taking photographs with a digital camera—probably photos of her son sledding in the snow. She already had it in hand as the lights approached.

I just pointed the camera and took shots … As the object passed, I could make out more of a disk shape than a balloon shape.

p2003_0201_weyauwega edit
A Disc Shaped Object February, 2003

 

p2003_0201_weyauwega2
A second photo as the object moved away.

“At this point, I just pointed the camera and took shots. The object really gave us the impression of a balloon, except for the lights. The object passed almost directly overhead and then headed south towards the train tracks. As the object passed, I could make out more of a disk shape than a balloon shape. I just remember my son asking me over and over what it was, and I didn’t have a clue.”

Usually a clear picture of a UFO or Flying Saucer is a clear indication of a hoax. People have been creating fake UFO pictures since July 1947, not more than a week after national newspapers picked up the first flying saucer story. Ever since then, reliable witnesses tend to produce poor quality pictures whereas sharp, clear pictures that look too good to be true almost always turn out to be hoaxes and publicity stunts. I hope that rule does not apply in the case of the Weyauwega, WI pictures. Since the woman who saw the UFO asked to remain anonymous, it’s hardly a publicity stunt. It would be nice to believe that, for once, someone caught a UFO on film.

If anyone in Weyauwega knows more about the original witnesses or how to contact them, let us know at UFOdays.net. It’s been 17 years. Maybe the mother and son are ready to be identified.