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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.
This page. Radio Note from J.J. Rogers to Colonel Harris of Wright Patterson AFB (This page).
Click! Major Keyho of NICAP's story.
Click! Dominique Weinstein's case summary.
Click! Graham E. Bethune's public testimony at Washington Disclosure conference 2001.
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.

Transcription of the radio note:

Radio Note from J.J. Rogers to Colonel Harris of Wright Patterson AFB.

SUBJECT: Unidentified Object
MCIA
MCI
14 Feb 51

Col Feiling

Request that you give me a short resume of action taken in connection with the inclosed cables concerning an unidentified object in the general vicinity of Newfoundland.

Incls
/s/ HAROLD E. WATSON Honaker/mb

1. Cy inc msg (1-1p) 51a-20766-1 Colonel, USAF 59210
2. Cy inc msg (1-1p) 51S-20769-2 Chief, Intel Dept Bldg 263B
3. " " " (1-1p) 51S-22120-2 P B21

ITEM 4 AMG /CONFIDENTIAL/
FROM JJ RODGERS MCIAXA-1A TO COL HARRIS AFOIN-V/TC REFERENCE RECENT RADNOTE MISSAGES FROM YOUR HEADQUARTERS CONCERNING SIGHTING OF UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECT IN THE VICINITY OF NEWFOUNDLAND BY NAVY AIRCREW. BASED UPON THE INFORMATION PRESENTED, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO COME TO DEFINITE CONCLUSIONS REGARDING THE SIGHTING, HOWEVER, THE MATTER WAS DISCUSSED IN SOME DETAIL WITH AN ASTRONOMER ATTACHED TO THE AMC GRADUATE CENTER. AS A RESULT OF THIS DISCUSSION IT WAS CONCLUDED THAT WHILE THERE IS A POSSIBILITY OF THE OBJECT SIGHTED BEING A METEOR OR FIREBALL, THE DESCRIPTION FURNISHED GIVES REASON TO BELIVE THAT THE AIRCREW SAW AN UNUSUAL "NORTHERN LIGHTS' DISPLAY. NO FURTHER ACTION IS CONTEMPLATED ON THIS INCIDENT UNLESS ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IS RECEIVED WHICH COULD TEND TO CHANGE OUR ESTIMATE OF THE SITUATION.

END ITEM 4 AMC /CONFIDENTIAL/
TO CGAMC WP AFB OHIO.

AF GRNC

/R E S T R I C T E D/ RADNOTE FOR MCISXD FOR:
AFOIN-C/SD-LD/CAPT OSTREAM

THE FOLLOWING CABLE IS QUOTED FOR YOUR INFORMATION: "VR-1 PILOTS OF FLIGHT N-125 ENROUTE KEFLAVIK TO ARGENTIA ON COURSE 225 TRUE AT 10,000 FEET REPORTED AN UNIDENTIFIED RED AND YELLOW OBJECT AT 100055Z INTIALLY BEARING 060 RELATIVE. OBJECT APPEARED TO BE CLOSE TO SURFACE. SHAPE IDENTIFIED WHEN FIRST SIGHTED LATER APPEARING CIRCULAR. DIAMETER ESTIMATE EXCESS 450 FEET. OBJECT APPROACHED PLANE, TURNED AND DISAPPEARED OVER HORIZON ON COURSE 290 TRUE AT TREMENDOUS SPEED. 100055Z POSITION LATITUDE 49-52 NORTH LONG 50-03 WEST. SIGHTING REPORTED TO GANDER ATC PLAIN LANGUAGE."

Fac simile of the radio note:

Scan

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This page was last updated on December 4, 2001.