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The Bethune Flight 124 airmiss in 1951:

U.S. Naval Reserve Lieutenant Graham Bethune, co-pilot on Flight 125 from Keflavik, reported:

"While flying in the left seat on a true course of 230 degrees at a position of 49-50 North and 50-03 West, I observed a glow of light below the horizon about 1,000 to 1,500 feet above the water. We both observed its course and motion for about 4 or 5 minutes before calling it to the attention of the other crew members... Suddenly its angle of attack changed, its altitude and size increased as though its speed was in excess of 1,000 miles per hour. It closed in so fast that the first feeling was we would collide in midair. At this time its angle changed and the color changed. It then [appeared] definitely circular and reddish orange on its perimeter. It reversed its course and tripled its speed until it was last seen disappearing over the horizon. Because of our altitude and misleading distance over water it is almost impossible to estimate its size, distance, and speed. A rough estimate would be at least 300 feet in diameter, over 1,000 miles per hour in speed, and approached to within 5 miles of the aircraft."

Table of content:

Click! The case, general information.
Click! The Air Intelligence Report page 1 of 2.
Click! The Air Intelligence Report, page 2 of 2.
Click! Project record card.
Click! Fleet logistic report by witness Fred W. Kingdon.
Click! Letter to CG, AMC, by Colonel S. Harris.
Click! Letter from North East Air Command: all experienced North Atlantic flyers.
Click! Radio Note from J.J. Rogers to Colonel Harris of Wright Patterson AFB..
Click! Major Keyho of NICAP's story.
Click! Dominique Weinstein's case summary.
This page. Graham E. Bethune's public testimony at Washington Disclosure conference 2001 (This page).
Click! Other sightings in that area.
Click! Letter from North East Air Command: weather clear, no planes.
Click! The Parrot letter; explaining it away: it was a meteor, or Northern Lights (This page).
Click! Drawings by witnesses.
Click! References.
R5D

Picture of a Navy R5D transport. The R5D is a variant of the C-54 transport, whose civilian version is known as the Skymaster.

Statement by Graham Bethune at the "Disclosure" 2001 conference:

"About 300 miles outside of Argentia, Newfoundland, I saw a glow on the water. As we approached this glow, it turned into hundreds of circles of white lights on the water. We watched it for a while; when the lights went out, there was nothing on the water. The next thing that we saw was a yellow halo that was very small, about 15 miles away. It came up to 10,000 feet in a fraction of a second. I disengaged the autopilot and pushed the nose over, because I was going to go under it at the angle that it was coming toward me. The minute that I did that, it was up at our altitude and I could see nothing outside of the cockpit but this craft."

"I didn't know which way to go. Then all of a sudden I heard a racket. I didn't know what it was. And I said: 'What the hell was that?' One of the crewmen looked around and said: 'Everyone [in the plane] was ducking [down] and they collided [with each other]. They were all lying on the [floor of the plane]."

"Then [the UFO] appeared over to the right, moved out slowly and flew with us. It was not at our altitude, but we could see the shape of it. It was a dome and I could see the coronal discharge. I went back aft, let the other pilot, Al Jones, take my seat, and went to see if the passengers were OK. They had some bumps and bruises. One passenger was a doctor so I went to him first. I said: 'Doc, did you see what we saw?' He looked me straight in the eye and said: 'Yeah, it was a flying saucer.' He said: 'I didn't look at it because I don't believe in such things.' It took me a couple of seconds to realize what he was saying. Being a psychiatrist, he couldn't believe in that kind of thing."

"So I went back to the cockpit and said, 'Al, whatever you do, don't tell anybody we saw anything. They will lock us up as soon as we get on the ground.' He says: 'It's too late. I just called Gander control [in Newfoundland] to see if they could track this by radar.' So that's how the story got out."

"It was obvious from the questions and demeanor of the US Navy men who debriefed us that they'd seen things out there before. When the crew returned to the Patuxant River Naval Air Test Center in Maryland, they required that each of us writes a report."

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This page was last updated on December 6, 2001.