R e s e a r c h 

T h e   B O A C   L a b r a d o r   s i g h t i n g   of   J u n e   2 9,   1 9 5 4   

visitor responses
 Appendix B

Below are extracts from two of Capt. James HOWARD's eye-witness statements, one made in 1954, the other in 1967.

(i) From the "Captain's Voyage Report"*, completed by James HOWARD en
from Goose Bay to London on June 30, 1954:

At 0105 G.M.T. today (June 30) about 150 nautical miles southwest of Goose Bay, height 19,000 feet, flying in clear weather above a layer of low stratus cloud, I noticed on our port beam a number of dark objects at approximately the same altitude as our aircraft. I drew the attention of the First Officer (Lee Boyd), to them. He said he had just noticed them also. I jokingly said they reminded me of flak bursts. He agreed (Sketch 1)

It then became apparent that they were moving along on a track roughly parallel to ours and keeping station with is. The First Officer then called Goose approach to ask if there were any aircraft in out area (0107 G.M.T.) They said No. During this time the shape of the large object changed slightly - also the positions of the smaller ones relative to the big one. Some moved ahead, some behind. The First Officer then told Goose what we were watching and they said they would send a fighter to investigate. At this time the objects resembled Sketch 2.

The shape of the large one continually changed but its position relative to us did not - always about 90 degrees to port. The distance from us appeared not less than five miles, possibly very much more. During this time both engineers, both navigators, the radio officer, two stewards and the stewardess watched it and all of us agreed on its shape. The number of small objects accompanied it (usually six were visible) and all were agreed that we had never seen anything like it before. At about 0120 the fighter reported that he was approaching us. The objects immediately began to grow indistinct until only one was visible. This grew smaller and finally disappeared (0123 G.M.T.) still at the same bearing to us. I reported to the fighter which direction to head for and then commenced descent to Goose, landing at 0145 G.M.T. As we taxied in another fighter was dispatched to take over from the first.

A US Air Force Intelligence Officer met us and we gave him the story. I spoke to Fighter Control and he said he picked us up at 0113 G.M.T. (when we had the object in sight), but had nothing else on his screen but us.

All who watched the objects are sure that the large one at any rate was no sort of winged aircraft. The small ones were just dots. They left no vapour trails. No lights were seen, just black silhouettes. The visibility at this altitude was unlimited with no cloud other than low overcast. The sun had just set. A large flock of birds might explain it if they were birds that could fly at a true airspeed of 238 knots at 19,000 feet formating on a Boeing for about 80 miles.

* Quoted in: Carnell, 1954.

(ii) From University of Colorado UFO Project Sighting Report Form**, signed by
      Capt. James R. HOWARD, December 1, 1967:

I was in command of a BOAC Boeing Stratocruiser en route from New York to London via Goose Bay, Labrador (refuelling stop). Soon after crossing overhead Seven Islands at 19,000 feet, True Airspeed 230 KTS, both my copilot and I became aware of soimething moving along off our port beam at a lower altitude at a distance of maybe five miles, in and out of a broken layer of Strato Cumulus cloud. As we watched, these objects climbed above the cloud and we could now clearly see one large object and six small. As we flew on towards Goose Bay the large object began to change shape and the smaller to move relative to the larger.

We informed Goose Bay that we had something odd in sight and they made arrangements to vector a fighter (F-94?) on to us. Later I changed radio frequency to contact this fighter; the pilot told me he had me in sight on radar closing me head-on at 20 miles. At that the small objects seemed to enter the larger, and then the big one shrank. I gave a description if this to the fighter and a bearing of the objects from me. I then had to change back to the Goose freq for descent clearance. I don't know if the fighter saw anything as he hadn't landed when I left Goose for London. We were interviewed by USAF Intelligence at Goose, who seemed quite accustomed to such sightings in that area . . .

One object much larger than other six. All opaque, sharp-edged in silhouette. Position of small objects always in line with large one but moved about so that sometimes three either side, sometimes 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 ahead, rest behind. Never more than seven total. Shape of small ones always globular but larger constantly, slowly changing shape. No colours or lights seen. . . . [Appeared] either solid or thick opaque gas.

When first sighted (my aircraft was at 19,000 ft which I maintained) the objects were approx. on my port beam but perhaps 10,000 ft lower. Maintaining their position laterally they climbed until they appeared to be at our altitude. Later, I think they climbed slightly before disappearing. When first seen the background was part cloud (3/8ths St.Cu) which they appeared to be moving through. Later the background was bright sky just before and after sunset.

[Speed of objects] 230 KTS (...) Same speed as airplane.

Small objects appeared to enter larger, then larger dwindled away to a pinpoint and disappeared.

** Files of the University of Colorado UFO Project, American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia.