R e s e a r c h
Martin SHOUGH & Wim VAN UTRECHT
This report from Germany is the earliest sighting in the catalogue backed up with photograph evidence. It was published in March 1975 in the British journal Flying Saucer Review. The witness/photographer is Mr. Yusuke J. MATSUMURA, a former WWII Japanese Air Force pilot and an active member of the UFO community. Our case summary is the integral text of a short item prepared especially for FSR by Mr. MATSUMURA.
After a business trip to Bulgaria and Hungary, I was due to fly home to Japan on January 4, 1973. My booking was for Lufthansa flight No. LH656 from Hamburg, bound for Tokyo via the North Pole.
As it turned out, there was dense fog at Hamburg, and flight No. LH656 was unable to call there as scheduled, and was rearranged to fly direct to Tokyo from Frankfurt-am-Main. A special flight was laid on to take passengers to Frankfurt, and this left Hamburg airport at 12.52 p.m. The 'plane was a Boeing 737 "City" jet.
The 737 climbed swiftly through the bank of fog and clouds, and when it emerged into clear sky, I saw what was apparently a disc-shaped UFO, sharply outlined against the orange sky which had the appearance of a sunset. The UFO banked slowly in the "9 o'clock" direction to the left (port side) of the air liner.
While the airplane was rolling and pitching in the "bumpy" weather, I took two colour photographs in quick succession, but the moment the shutter was pressed the object went out of sight. However, there was another witness known to me, a German stewardess, who was sitting just behind my seat, who was talking to me. She told me that she saw a similar object over the North Sea towards the end of 1972. She was in good cheer and asked me to send her copies of the pictures.
The prints used here are black and white, reversed from the colour photos. The photos A1 an B2 are enlargements of the object 300X. The camera used was a Canon FTb, FD 50mm, f1.4 s.s.c. lens with skylight filter, diaphragm f8, shutter speed 1/250th second; film, Kodak Kodacolor.
Black and white enlargements from photos No. 1 and 2.
The unidentified object in the photos 300x enlarged. [All images scanned from FSR Vol. 20, No. 5].
Comment - Mr. MATSUMURA refers to the object's appearance as "disc-shaped" and "sharply outlined", but this is not apparent from the photos which show a distinct yet fuzzy-edged dome or triangle-like shape. It is not sure either whether the sentence "banked slowly to the left of the air liner" should be taken literally, or if this change in position was caused by the airplane correcting its course to due South after having taken off from the NNW/SSE oriented runway. How the object "went out of sight" after the second picture was snapped, is also not specified.
At 13:00 p.m. on January 4, 1973, the Sun was in the South (azimuth: 188°). Elevation was 13°. The object itself must have been positioned roughly in the East ("'9 o' clock' direction" while flying on a southern course from Hamburg to Frankfurt-am-Main).
A 1957 photo of a "flying saucer" taken by Yusuke MATSUMURA. [Item found on anakinovni.org]