This is indeed a splendid case history and exactly the way forward for future research into specific high strangeness cases.
An opportunity to be built upon and not squandered.
It has always seemed likely that this was some UAP and an unusual mirage has, of course, been in the frame since the Condon analysis 40 years ago.
But this new report puts the questions into the spotlight very well.
When I wrote Something in the Air [a book that reports on "more than a hundred mid-air encounters between civil and military aircraft and something else that was flying unidentified within our atmosphere", published by Robert Hale & Co. Inc., Washington, in 1999 - WVU] I devoted quite a few pages to this case based on the interviews with the air crew that we had just done for Strange But True? [Strange but True? Was a British documentary television series about the supernatural, broadcast in the UK on ITV between 1993 and 1997 - WVU]. One thing I added worth repeating here is that there was a case that was reported to MUFORA [the now defunct Manchester UFO Research Association - WVU] in 1975 that had interesting similarities and might have insights to offer.
It occurred just before Christmas 1974 (sadly no exact date was recalled) at 7:30 a.m. Location above Werneth Low near Oldham in the Pennines.
As in the Goose Bay case it involved a shape changing dark mass (oval that became sausage like) with a blunted end. The female witness described several small objects coming from the sausage as "like soap bubbles being blown from a hoop".
The event comes across as a form of optical distortion of some source and matches the Goose Bay case surprisingly well (the woman lived in an isolated cottage and appeared unaware of the sighting then 20 years earlier).
I also note the link with sunset (at Goose Bay) and sun rise (at Werneth Low) that might be relevant to the theory.
There are going to be other cases like this and I will do a search to have a look.
The BA Trident case in 1976 [see Appendix C (Case #6) - WVU]was also investigated by MUFORA (indeed we got access to the same radar system that also tracked the object). The conclusion that was reached (with help from Philip TAYLOR who sourced a possible trigger for the sighting) relates to the setting of the radar system that in weather mapping mode could only have shown something truly huge (probably mountains) and was not directly related to the sausage shaped objects and crinkle foil mass seen. (The radar and optical observations had no direct link in time and space I should stress).
Evidence about part of the optical sightings matched a high altitude research balloon that was plotted using weather records to be in the area. The sausage shapes might indeed be the same phenomenon as in these two cases above given again the timing (near sunset).
I think something of a pattern might be emerging here to assist the search for other possible candidates. Which I will look for.
Buxton, North Wales, UK
[Trained as a science teacher, specialising in geology, Jenny Randles would later become the UK's most popular UFO writer. On gaining her diploma in Media Communications at Manchester University, she became a full-time writer and researcher into strange phenomena. Since 1979 RANDLES published nearly 50 books, more than half of which on UFOs. Her titles have been sold to 27 countries.
Articles by Jenny RANDLES have appeared in such journals as New Scientist and OMNI. Like David CLARKE, she too is a regular contributor to Fortean Times.]
Martin SHOUGH replies :
The link with sunset (at Goose Bay) and sun rise (at Werneth Low) is definitely relevant in the mirage mechanism I discussed for the Goose Bay case, as explained in the article. For one very important thing, much of the duct must be in the Earth's shadow to preserve image contrast and give these high-density "black" silhouettes. There are many factors that need to be considered, though, and without knowing more about the Werneth Low sighting I wouldn't want to connect them yet. But it's certainly one to follow up.
A search for additional cases is indeed welcomed. The collection of cases in Appendix C was conceived as the kernel of a possibly growing catalogue. To focus on the signature features of the pattern it would be useful to discuss some of the cases in more detail.