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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2001 > Dec > Dec 13

Re: More On The X-15 - Oberg

From: James Oberg <joberg@houston.rr.com>
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2001 15:41:12 -0600
Fwd Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2001 18:34:48 -0500
Subject: Re: More On The X-15 - Oberg

 >Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2001 02:41:18 -0500 (Eastern Standard Time)
 >From: Nick Balaskas <nikolaos@YorkU.CA>
 >To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates@virtuallystrange.net>
 >Subject: Re: More On The X-15

 >This morning I was going through some old issues of the
 >'Canadian Space Gazette', the newsletter of the Canadian Space
 >Society (a local space club) and I found an article titled
 >'Astronaut UFO Sightings' (Jan/Feb 1997) written by you. Your
 >short verdicts to all, except one, astronaut UFO sightings in
 >the 'Fawcett List', as printed in 'The Edge of Reality' by Allen
 >Hynek and Jacques Vallee were frauds, fabrications,
 >exaggerations, misidentifications, etc. The exception was Robert
 >White's July 17, 1962 X-15 flight. Your verdict for this UFO
 >sighting was: "Important information withheld by authors.".

The entire, Skeptical Inquirer, 1978 article about Hynek's
nonsensical claims can be found at:


The information withheld, of course, was that White described
the 'UFO' as small, close, and tumbling.

 >Although not included in the very short 'Fawcett List' of
 >UFO sightings by astronauts, I am curious to know what your
 >conclusions are about UFO sightings in space by veteran
 >astronauts such as Story Musgrave (the space snakes he has
 >seen and even video recorded)

Story's 'snake' was seen and photographed on his two flights
both right after deployment of IUS upper stages, so his view as
told to OMNI seems reasonable to me:


OMNI: What inexplicable things have you seen out there?

Musgrave: You see satellites. I've seen Mir go by within 28
miles; other satellites and you don't know what they are, but
maybe just space debris. All kinds of debris come off space
ships, especially at the back end after the main engines shut
down and you open the doors: ice chips, oxygen or hydrogen,
stuff dumped from the engines. On two flights I've seen and
photographed what I call "the snake," like a seven-foot eel
swimming out there. It may be an uncritical rubber seal from the
main engines. In zero g it's totally free to maneuver, and it
has its own internal waves like it's swimming. All this debris
is white, reflecting sunlight, or you don't see it. Cruising
along with you at your velocity, it's still got its own
rotation. At zero g, things have an incredible freedom. It's an
extraordinary ballet.

 >and John Blaha ("Houston, this
 >is Discovery. We still have the alien spacecraft in

That was reported by Don Ratsch (sts48@home.com), and discussed at:


where Don's retraction is shown:


Date: Thu, 14 Mar 1996 18:51:37 -0800
From: (Donald Ratsch)
Subject: Re: NASA WAV file
To:  (Brian Zeiler)

Brian, yes I have the full story on that. The details was
carried on the July 1989 issue of the MUFON Journal. Briefly I
recorded some of the radio broadcast via my audio scanner from
the space shuttle Discovery through WA3NAN, the club station of
the Goddard Amateur Radio Club at Greenbelt, Md, transmitting on
147.450 MHZ. It is a retransmission from the NASA Select
original. I heard what I thought was one of the male astronauts
saying, "Houston, Discovery, we still have the alien spacecraft
under observance". Well I was pretty excited and got in touch
with Walt Andrus of MUFON and Vince Dipietro (Mars Face Fame)
who is employed at Goddard Space Flight Center who I later
handed over the tape to have a voice print analysis performed to
compare the target voice to the astronauts' voices that were
aboard during that mission. The result of the analysis showed
that a few positive hits on Astronaut Bagian (the physician on
board) but not enough hits to say he was the one who said the
target words. So the results were inconclusive. Later a check
showed there was no target voice on the original NASA Select

"About a year after that, I was again monitoring the audio from
another NASA mission via my scanner and I heard that voice
again, saying something similar to the target voice a year
earlier.  However on this mission, all the astronauts were
different compared to the other one. This led me to conclude
that unfortunately, the target voice was a hoax probably from an
amateur radio operator. Jim Oberg emailed me some time ago and
asked me about that case and I told him what I just told you."


JimO further asks, oh, did you really think the original story
was credible? Wow, were _you_ taken for a ride by a hoaxer.

 >or even the UFOs seen by Apollo 11 astronauts
 >Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin and Michael Collins on their way to the
 >Moon as described in their own books?

What UFOs? My assessment is the same as every other space expert
and astronaut who's talked about those reports, they were
watching the S-4B stage and SLA panels, just like on Apollo-12
when Conrad was joking about them (and he joked even more loudly
about 'UFO freaks' who misunderstood his comments and thought he
had been refering to alien visitors -- but Conrad had a rough
sense of humor).

Jim Oberg