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karl 12

The Little Rissington UFO Incident.

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Very interesting UFO incident from 1952 where three disc shaped objects were plotted on ground radar and witnessed by two RAF pilots who saw them fly over the cockpit of their aircraft - the pilots are interviewed below and describe the objects in full detail - they also state that upon landing they were immediately confined in separate cabins and told to speak to noone until they were thoroughly debriefed by an unknown plain clothes officer.

Subject: UFO Incident Involving RAF Meteor & Radar Over Gloucestershire, 21 Oct 1952

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Flying saucers were the last thing on Michael Swiney's mind when he climbed into the cockpit of an RAF Meteor VII on the afternoon of 21 October 1952. Swiney was a staff instructor based at the RAF's Central Flying School at Little Rissington, Gloucestershire, where his job was to provide tuition to RAF and Navy pilots. Seated behind him was his student for the day, David Crofts, a Royal Navy lieutenant. What began as a run-of-the mill exercise was soon to turn into one of the most dramatic experiences in Swiney's flying career.

link

Video Interviews - see 4:45

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVPrdofjAzY

Continued:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBJQf4xkIw4

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Pilot Eyewitness testimony:

"It was something supernatural. I immediately thought of course, of saucers, because that's actually what they looked like. They were not leaving a condensation trail as I knew we were. They were circular and appeared to be stationary. We continued to climb to twice that height [to 30,000 feet] and as we did so they did in fact change position. They took on a slightly different perspective. For example the higher we got they lost their circular shape and took on more of a 'flat plate' appearance - like when you hold a tea-saucer above your head and look at it, and then bring it down to your eye-level, it loses the circular shape and becomes a flat plate."

"At one time the objects, which were still very much in view, appeared to go from one side of us to the other, and to make quite sure it was not an illusion caused by us in our aeroplane moving to one side, I checked that we were absolutely still on a very steady heading, and sure enough they had moved across to the starboard side of the aircraft."

"We got to the top of the climb and I decided that really there was nothing much we could do. I was too shaken by what I had seen and decided to call the exercise off and go back to base. I called up Air Traffic Control at Rissington and said I had three unidentified objects fairly close and gave them my course. I understand later that there was a certain amount of pandemonium on the ground because they weren't used to having their own staff instructors calling up saying 'we have got three unidentified flying objects in front, what do we do?' They didn't know what to do either."

Flight Lieutenant Michael Swiney

"I remember doing the 35,000 foot check and Mick, who was in the front seat, said: 'David, did you have anything to drink at lunchtime?' and I said: 'No, why?' and he said: 'Is your oxygen on?' and I replied: 'Mick, we've just done the 30,000 foot check and you checked with me that your oxygen was alright and I checked with you that my oxygen was alright,' then he said: 'Well, look at that - straight ahead!'

"Mick [who was in the front seat] put his head to one side and I looked straight through the D-window and there were three dots ahead, [initially] they wouldn't have been bigger than my thumb-nail at arm's length and there were certainly three of them. I looked up from time to time and saw they were approaching and getting further and further apart. What I saw looked like the bottom of a stemmed glass. They were lens shaped, like an ellipse and the sun was behind them, and there was no cloud at that height. It was impossible to tell the size of them or how far away they were.

"I was thinking all the time that I've got to make this a good exercise and didn't want to muff it by looking around at extraneous things, but Mick kept talking about them and saying that he thought they were UFOs so I thought: 'Oh yes, well let's go after them!' thinking well now we can stop doing the exercise and we can officially say we are off the hook. But he didn't, he said: 'Oh Lord no, don't you remember something that happened on the West Coast of America where a couple of pilots went after one of these things and they all got vapourised and they have never been seen since.' I then asked him what he intended to do, and with that he called Air Traffic Control at Little Rissington and said what he could see and within a very short time he said: 'I have control', he turned the aircraft and we headed back to base."

Royal Navy Lieutennant David Crofts

link

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Posted (edited)

Logbook entry for October 1952 showing Croft's sketch of the 3 saucers:

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Entries from the Operational Record Book, RAF Little Rissington (Public Record Office: 29/2310) and personal flying log belonging to Flight Lieutenant Michael Swiney recording sighting of three 'flying saucers' during a training exercise over southwest England, 21 October 1952

Mick Swiney's flying logbook showing entry dated 21 October 1952:

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Swiney had also kept a copy of his flying log book for 1952, which supported his story (see Figure 13, page 101). Under Exercise 18 an entry read: '(SAUCERS!) 3 "Flying Saucers" sighted at height.

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Edited by karl 12

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Anyone out there have any ideas what these objects could have been - the witnesses sound quite credible and it's interesting that the objects were also confirmed on radar travelling at a ground speed of 600 mph.

Here's another intriguing account involving RAF personnel from around the same time:

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"In some RAF field, there was some sort of demonstration to which high officials of the RAF in London had been invited. During the show, a 'perfect flying saucer' was seen by these officials as well as RAF pilots. So many people saw it that many articles appeared in the public press. This is distressing to [Dr] Jones because he realises that the creation of the correction of public opinion is a part of his responsibilities."

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Well Karl, I must say this is an interesting case indeed. At first glance it seems to have almost everything but trace evidence and/or the sighting of an extraterrestrial being. It has eye witness testimony from two apparently credible witnesses, and radar corroboration from more than one source. David Clarke's article, which you linked above, is quite complete.

Much of this case is compelling, and many points are worthy of note. Two details in particular caught my eye as very interesting.

First, there doesn't seem to be a clear indication of the size of the objects. The descriptions range from small dots to filling half of their windscreen. The witnesses themselves don't appear to make this latter statement, which makes me think it might just be an embellishment from Sir Peter Horsley.

The other thing that stands out is this part of the description which I believe is from Swiney himself, "They were saucer or plate shaped, slightly off-white in colour and emitted a fuzzy or iridescent light from their edges."

I don't think that we can responsibly rule out the possibility that there were physical craft in this incident. On the same token, I don't think we can rule out the possibility of some kind of plasma, which is known to exhibit all of the behavior and visual characteristics as described by Crofts and Swiney and corroborated by radar. I suspect we'll never truly know what was up there in the sky with them and making assumptions about what it was would be simply that; assumptions.

Perhaps the most important, and unfortunate, detail from the testimony is Michael Swiney's conclusion from the video...

I know I saw something and thank goodness there was somebody else to corroborate. I've often been asked, "what do you think they are?" and I have to answer "I really haven't got the vaguest idea. I wish I had."

The case itself is interesting. The testimony is intriguing and mysterious. The corroborative data from ground radar is compelling. But in the end, it is still like most cases in that it is far from conclusive evidence which can prove ETH.

It certainly made for an enjoyable read, however, and as always I appreciate your posting the information Karl.

Cheers mate. :tu:

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Boonyzarc, thanks for the reply on this one and I agree with your comments about how we can only make assumptions (and not assertions) about what the objects described in certain UFO incidents actualy are - there's some more info below about the Little Rissington case, it seems the Air Ministry discounted any possibility of "extra terrestrial objects" but certain questions were raised about missing documentation.

Records of the official investigation missing.

When in 2001 Swiney attempted to obtain a copy of his original report to Air Ministry he was told by the MoD that it had 'most likely' been destroyed. However, research at the PRO revealed an entry in the ORB of the Central Flying School, dated 21 October 1952, which read:

'Flight Lieutenant M. J. E. SWINEY, instructor, and Lieutenant B. CROFTS, R.N., student, sighted three mysterious "saucer shaped objects" travelling at high speed at about 35,000' whilst on a high level navigation exercise, in a Meteor VII. Later, A.T.C.C. Gloucester reported radar plots to confirm this, but Air Ministry discounted any possibility of "extra terrestrial objects". '

The evidence suggests that in addition to the testimony of the two pilots, two separate radars had tracked an UFO and this resulted in the scramble of interceptor aircraft. How could the Air Ministry claim, so quickly after the events, that they had 'discounted any possibility' of extraterrestrial objects? Where are the records of the official investigation into this incident that were evidently seen both by Sir Peter Horsley and by Air Commodore Swiney as recently as the 1970s? If there was nothing to hide, then why was this incident kept secret for half a century?

link

Perhaps the British Ministry of Defense postponed the release date of the documents like they did with this case.

Cheers.

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Another RAF report from one month earlier involving a very similar object description:

Then on the third consecutive day a UFO showed up near the fleet, this time over Topcliffe Aerodrome in England. A pilot in a Meteor was scrambled and managed to get his jet fairly close to the UFO, close enough to see that the object was "round, silvery, and white" and seemed to "rotate around its vertical axis and sort of wobble." But before he could close in to get a really good look it was gone.

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