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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2002 > Nov > Nov 27

Re: Jimmy Carter The Nobel Prize & ETs

From: Jerry Cohen <rjcohen.nul>
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2002 13:48:08 -0500
Archived: Wed, 27 Nov 2002 10:04:22 -0500
Subject: Re: Jimmy Carter The Nobel Prize & ETs

>From: Tim Printy <Tprinty2.nul>
>Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2002 19:14:26 EST
>To: ufoupdates.nul
>Subject: Re: Jimmy Carter The Nobel Prize & ETs - >Printy

>>From: Jerry Cohen <rjcohen.nul>
>>Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2002 08:51:41 -0500
>>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto
>>Subject: Re: Jimmy Carter The Nobel Prize & ETs


Glad to make your acquaintance. Your comments are well taken and
well put together. I really can't fault anything you say; i.e.
the things about Carter, "use it or lose it," the length of time
the report was turned in after the sighting, etc.

The only thing I can think to say is that after I had my own
sighting I began to take cases very seriously and I wanted to
make sure that every case I looked at was truly investigated to
its fullest degree (to my own satisfaction) before calling it
solved. Just as you, when I come across any information that I
think nullifies what someone has said concerning a case, I feel
that case is not fully solved.

After having my sighting and collecting data for years trying to
find an answer to what I saw, I eventually wound up with a
certain number of cases I couldn't fully solve and others I felt
weren't fully investigated, i.e. cases I still had unanswered
questions about.

Probably just as you, before feeling 100% confident a case is
solved, all _my_ questions about it have to be answered to my
satisfaction. Your satisfaction and my satisfaction may be two
different things. You may be looking at this whole thing from
the perspective "it probably doesn't exist" but I'll look at it
anyway. I'm looking at it as, "son of gun. I saw something
extraordinary and I want to make sure when we look at cases,
we're not leaving _anything_ out. These are two very different
ways of looking at a case, so we may be coming from different
directions. But, I hope you'll believe me when I say, I
basically want the same thing that you want, a fair analysis of
each case.

The following are answers to your questions regarding my
previous post:

>>However, as to the "sharply outlined" point, I said
>before, he had three choices on the form:

>>Fuzzy or Blurred, Like a bright star, or sharply outlined
>He chose "sharply outlined"

>I am not sure how a star can be described as "fuzzy" or

For two reasons I can think of, and I am sure there are probably
others: a) It was cloudy or hazy and the star "appeared" that
way  b) It wasn't a star/planet at all but something else that
had a "fuzzy/blurred" look to it on a perfectly clear night.
(Not applying this to the Carter case, but simply to answer your

>Most stars are pinpoints that twinkle. However,
>planets do not appear like stars. They do not twinkle (at
>least not very much) and usually exhibit a steady light
>giving them a distinct appearance. One could easily see
>how a planet would be described as "sharply outlined".

O.K. We both have contrasting views of same that cancel each
other out. I personally don't believe that is what Carter meant.
(Not that either one of us can't be wrong.)

>>Exactly my point. Not good enough. We really need
>solid examples of a person(s?) _with Carter's skills who
>either thought the moon was a UFO or thought Venus
>was a UFO_, and we are entitled to see this as well.

>Exactly how do we acquire individuals with Carter's
>"skills"? Can you quantify them so we can measure

Tim, what I was trying to say was give me an example of a
person(s) with a good scientific background that had at least
some sky observation training as Carter had and that
misidentified Venus as a UFO. I wasn't trying to say that Carter
had to be perfect in his identification or that he couldn't
possibly be wrong. What I was trying to say was . . before we
completely discount what Carter indicated to us, let's at least
demonstrate that other people with similar scientific background
and at least some sky identification training have made the same
mistake of misidentifying Venus as a UFO. I wasn't trying to
"load the deck" from the other end.

I have just written this to Bob Young and fully explained
what I meant at


>However, there are some examples of
>Venus/stars being described as large as the full moon or
>having a distinct size:

>1) Condon report case #37. Hynek even admitted this
>one was Venus:

>"The latter case should be read by all UFO investigators.
>It is a fantastic example of how persuasive the planet
>Venus can be as a nonscreened UFO." (The UFO

Yes, you are correct. But this case wasn't one simple sighting.
It was actually multiple sightings. Over the years, looking at
multiple sighting cases and having thought about what I myself
saw back in 1967, I began to wonder if there might not have been
one precipitating sighting in some of those cases which had the
possibility of being the real thing even though other people
stimulated by this might have made mistakes in what they
"thought" they saw. When I look at this case, as crazy as you
may think I am, I get that feeling.

I just want to mention here that the case (Condon - #37) you
gave as an example was a very good one, but dealt with police
officers who for the most part don't fit the criteria I was
attempting to delineate. Also, the flight controller that made
the mistake wasn't outside looking at Venus visually, he was
working totally electronically on his radar screen. So, that's
not really what I meant. But I think the case is a good one to
talk about. You have to try to look at it from my perspective to
see that I am not just trying to pull your chain about this.

When I first glanced at it, I thought you were 100% right and I
was ready to fully agree with you about it. You were correct in
what Hynek had to say about it concerning the final outcome of
same. I think it was probably true that Venus was responsible
for many of the officer's sightings. However, after reading it a
second time I noticed something interesting concerning the first
two officer's _initial_ sighting.

On page 370 of my soft cover edition of the Condon Study, case
#37, in the section that says "Ground Observation", A. (the
first paragraph) could be interpreted exactly as you have
indicated. But the second and 3rd paragraph gives us some
interesting information.

A)   The object was closest the first night we saw it.

"This object, whatever it was, caught up with us as we
approached the city limits. The other officer started making a
pretty scared sound and pointing out behind us. That is when I
turned around and saw it.

At this point I was expecting to hear him give a description of
Venus or anything that could be interpreted that way. However,
this is what he said

"It lit the police car enough inside to make the hands on
your wristwatch visible. The whole surroundings were lit
up. I radioed in that we were being followed by a flying
object. I didn't know what it was, but it was following us. I
could see the object in the rear-view mirror, but when we
stopped the car and I got out, it veered away and
disappeared behind the trees."

A couple of questions: Did anyone ask the officer "how" it
veered away? Did it veer away before he got out of the car or
did he witness it veer away just as, or immediately after, he
got out of the car. Two different animals indeed.

A second question: Have you ever seen the light from Venus
strong enough to do what that policeman said? You'll probably
say to me, "Maybe it was the moon shining in the window" or
"Maybe it was a streetlight shining in" Maybe something else lit
up the car. Could you be right? Perhaps.

We do know it wasn't Venus that caused it. Although I've seen
Venus pretty bright, I've never seen it able to do what that
officer described. I've never seen the light of any star light
up the ground or light up the inside of a car to the intensity
of what the officers indicated. In the woods, when the moon is
gone, it's dark, even in a clearing. (been there, tried it for
my own curiosity) You can't see your hand in front of your face,
although you can see the stars quite plainly, even when Venus is
super-bright,. So I'm pretty sure the light of the intensity the
officers seemed to indicate didn't come from Venus or the stars
present that night.

Then, I asked myself how two officers could get so spooked in a
patrol car that they would think this was happening. I went
looking for other cases like this. Yes, there have been cases
where Venus may have been the triggering factor in people's
reports, but there have also been cases where it's virtually
impossible to attribute this as the culprit. Here's one case
where the Air Force tried to give it as an explanation but was
caught severely lacking.

NICAP Journal, March-April 1966:

Police Chase Low Flying UFO
(actual case: April 17, 1966)

[Begin quote]

A series of incredible close-range UFO sightings during March
and April has been reported by pilots, police officers, doctors,
lawyers, and many others, continuing the intensified pattern of
low-level operations which began last July. Statistical study of
27 sample cases between March 11 and April 18 reveals distinct
patterns of appearance and behavior.

One of the clearest and best-witnessed cases began around dawn,
April 17, when Portage County, Ohio, sheriffs Dale Spaur and
W.L. Neff investigated citizen's reports of a UFO in the area of
Ravenna. They quickly noticed a light hovering over a hill and
stood watching it. The UFO suddenly moved directly toward them,
illuminating the ground brightly, sending them fleeing to their
patrol car for cover. As they radioed headquarters, the object -
 now seen as a distinct disc like object with a curved antenna-
like projection on top - began moving away from them down the

On instructions from the dispatchers, Spaur and Neff began
following the object. The underside glowed bright blue-white;
the top was a dark color. As they sped eastward in pursuit of
the UFO at speeds up to 100 m.p.h. it repeatedly pulled out of
sight. Then the sheriffs would encounter it again, hovering near
the highway as if waiting for them. In the sunlight, the UFO
appeared to have a metallic surface.

[end quote]

Still sounds as though it might have been mistaken for Venus?
Possibly. However, appearing immediately beneath the above quote
was a clear sketch drawn by deputy Spaur.


It was not simply a bright light, it was a specific semi egg-
shaped craft of some kind with some kind of projection on the
top towards the rear. Hmmmn.

[resume quote]

The chase continued for 85 miles, from Ravenna across the
Pennsylvania border to the vicinity of Conway, as officers of
other police departments along the way joined in. There were
reports that jets were scrambled from an Air Force Reserve
squadron in Ohio, and that radar had detected the UFO. (Both the
Air Force and FAA later denied the radar report.)

William Weitzel, chairman of the Pittsburgh NICAP subcommittee,
drove to Ravenna the following day and interviewed the
witnesses. A widely circulated report that a police chief had
obtained a clear photograph of the UFO proved to be erroneous.
The chief was not involved in the chase, saw only a "distant
light - possibly Venus - which he attempted to photograph. The
print, viewed by Weitzel, shows two small arcs of light which
could be accounted for in many ways. Copies have been obtained
for further analysis.

[end quote]

Well, the Air Force and FAA didn't support it and the supposed
photographs from the police chief didn't support it. Maybe the
officers are "smoking a pipe."

[resume quote]

On April 23 the Air Force released a statement attributing the
sighting to a satellite, and a later confusion with Venus
shining brightly in the SE sky. In a statement taped by Mr.
Weitzel, Deputy Spaur said "I don't know how much investigation
they made, but evidently it wasn't a very lengthy one or it
didn't involve me." An AF Major, he said, had telephoned him
twice talking with him for a total of about 4 minutes. "If it's
ours, tell me it's ours," Spaur said, "and if it isn't, by God,
they ought to help us find out what it is." No satellite would
fly that low, he added, and he wasn't "quite that bad off" that
he would be chasing Venus and "running wildly over the

Hmmmn. The Air Force said it was a satellite and confusion with
Venus. But the policemen are apparently still adamant about it.
They are either nuts or they just misidentified something.

[resume quote]

The testimony most damaging to the USAF explanation came from
East Palestine, Ohio, police officer Wayne Huston, situated near
the Pennsylvania border. Huston had picked up the radio
transmissions of the Portage County sheriffs and waited at an
intersection that they would soon be passing. Shortly
afterwards, he clearly saw the UFO pass by quickly followed by
the sheriffs' cruiser. The UFO was shaped like a flattened cone,
with the point of the cone downward. Officer Huston immediately
joined the chase.

[end quote]

Holy smokes! A third officer saw both _it and the cruiser_ go
by. What was it? If that was Venus, that planet came pretty low.

Whole thing sound a little familiar? This was the scene they
used in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" except in the
movie, they added another couple of UFOs with it and had one of
the police cars chase it off the end of a cliff. Only thing is,
this happened in 1966 long before the movie. It's where
Spielberg got his material, then hyped it up for the movie.
(Like it really needed hyping.)

[resume quote]

Mr. Weitzel also got reports that police had overheard radio
transmissions from one of several pilots chasing the UFO, to the
effect that the pilot had maneuvered directly above the object
and estimated its size as 45 feet across. If this report can be
verified, full details including the text of the transmission
will be printed in the next issue.

[end quote]

I didn't see it verified so we have to assume it wasn't.

[resume quote]

On May 10, three weeks after the sighting, the Air Force first
sent an investigator to the scene. Major Hector Quintanilla,
chief of Project Blue Book, was ordered to re-investigate the
case after strong protests to the Air Force by a Congressman and
a judge who formerly was Congressman in the same district.

Calling the USAF satellite-Venus explanation "ridiculous,"
Common Pleas Court Judge Robert E. Cook wrote to Congressman
William Stanton urging him to insist on a full investigation and
reevaluation. "The Air Force has suffered a great loss of
prestige in this community," Cook told Stanton. "People are not
swallowing this explanation about Venus. . . (it) doesn't have
form and an antenna. . .hover 100 feet off the ground and cast a
bright light. . ."

Congressman Stanton responded with a statement May 5 saying "The
Air Force failed in its responsibility in thoroughly
investigating this incident. . .Once people entrusted with the
public welfare no longer think the people can handle the truth,
then the people, in turn, will no longer trust the government."

According to private sources, Stanton personally visited Lt.
Col. John Spaulding in the Pentagon, who in turn set the wheels
in motion which resulted in the belated visit to the scene to
interview witnesses first-hand. Major Quintanilla's
investigation, observed by a NICAP representative, again failed
to include the significant elements of the officers' reports.
After a few hours, Quintanilla stated he was still satisfied
with his original explanation, and left.

[end quote]

It's for reasons like the preceding that I've been forced to
take a really close look at all cases people explain away as
Venus and why I had to review the Carter case for myself. It is
not the only case of its kind with similar mishandling. I'm
trying to explain what I saw to myself and I'm finding cases
like this.

For other information on this case, please see the NICAP web
site at:


>2) Alan Hendry lists several cases where stars/planets
>were misperceived to have size:

>"Included among these shapes are: discs and discs with
>domes ("Like two plates put together"-case 332;
>"elongated, as big as a distant plane"-case 377; "dome
>on top and bottom" - for one and a half hours in case
>332), domes, a "plate with a hole in the center," vertically
>oriented small triangles, ovals, a football ...even
>"teacups," "Mexican sombreros," and "bananas as large
>as the moon, shrinking back down to a star." People
>have seen "spikes," beams," "appendages," and
>sparkles shooting out in all directions from bright stars."
>(The UFO Handbook)

I know that Alan Hendry is well respected. But, I'd love to
reinvestigate every one of them and see if I found anything to

>When one has a hypothesis one needs to back it up
>with some solid supporting examples or you can't even
>submit the hypothesis for analysis. It is one thing for an
>average person to be fooled by something like this but
>another for a person with a nuclear physics degree and
>trained sky observation skills.

Again, see my post to Bob Young


>I am not sure exactly how a physics degree translates
>into "trained sky observation skills". If you are referring to
>Jimmy Carter's Navy training, there are some problems
>with this. Exactly when did he acquire such skills? I am
>sure Jimmy Carter had his celestial navigation course in
>the academy but he was not a navigator on any ship.
>This is a matter of "If you don't use it, you lose it." During
>my twenty-plus years in the Navy, I knew many officers
>and very few were had a working knowledge of
>astronomy. Many were fascinated by me pointing out
>various astronomical objects when I came up to the
>bridge (which on a sub was not often). In one interesting
>moment, we had several officers wonder what ship light
>that was on the horizon they were looking at through the
>periscope. The quartermaster (an enlisted man) went to
>an old program called Sky Globe to identify Venus.
>These were nuclear qualified officers, who were quite
>knowledgeable in their trade but not to the point of
>infallibility. Hynek addressed this when he noted that
>pilots seemed to suffer from misperception problems:

>"What we have here is a good example of a well-known
>psychological fact: "transference" of skill and experience
>does not usually take place. That is, an expert in one
>field does not necessarily "transfer" his competence to
>another one" (The UFO Report)

Can't fault what you say above.

>Then we have the problem of Carter being outside the
>military for almost two decades when he saw this event.
>Exactly what proficiency did Carter have at identifying
>planets at this time in his life? We really don't know but
>speculating he could have easily identified Venus is not
>being very accurate.

Nor is it accurate to use other witness lack of recollection.
Below is a quote from my 22 Nov post to Bob Young

[Begin quote]

Regarding Robert Sheaffer's specific hypothesis concerning the
witnesses: You still haven't considered what Bob Gates and I
submitted concerning this and which I pointed you to in my last
two posts. I apologize for being repetitive here but you haven't
commented on this yet and it is important.


At the above URL is evidence that happens to fall right in
line with what Sheaffer said concerning witness
accuracy; namely, _witness recollection is not always
accurate._ We have given you other data available that
demonstrates that the Carter sighting witnesses "lack of
recollection" is most probably equally
accurate/inaccurate as Carter's. Omitting evidence such
as this is one basic error Sheaffer has made. It was
delineated on Cameron's web site, which I quoted in a
previous post beginning at paragraph 4 in the Cameron
quote toward the bottom of that page


[end quote]

>Of course, we have to take Carter's report with a grain of
>salt since it was made several years after the event
>occurred. He could not even recall the date. Exactly why
>are we to suspect that he got all the other details exactly

Tim, you're absolutely right. That's also why I say the case has
to remain an unknown.


Jerry Cohen


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