R e s e a r c h
Martin SHOUGH & Wim VAN UTRECHT
This is another case from the Blue Book files that was labeled "UNKNOWN". Links to the original documents can be found at www.nicap.org. The case summary below was written up by Martin SHOUGH with small changes added for better readability.
On 29 Aug 1954 at 1405 or 1415 GMT (both times appear in telexes in the ATIC* file), 1st Officer H. G. GARDNER, engineer J. V. D. WHITISY and a third unnamed witness, flying a KLM** DC-4 en route from Europe to CYOX (Rae Point, on Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories) at a speed of 180 kt heading 267° magnetic off the south tip of Greenland approximately 50 miles S or SW of Prince Christian (60° N, 43° W ±6 min) at 8000 ft, between cloud layers (estimated 7500ft and 10-13,000ft), saw at 2:30 o'clock position with 30-40 miles visibility what "at first appeared to be single object black or dark of lenticular shape", later appearing as 3 or 4 "large black oval shapes", "considered too large to be single", measuring one and one half inch inch wide on the windscreen, "in formation", apparently 2 miles away, N of the aircraft track, heading W apparently parallel to aircraft track, "level with KLM" and "on parallel course", for 10 min (Project Record Card; error possibly due to 10-minute ambiguity in start time, see above) or "five or six minutes" (telex) at an estimated 180 kt along a path of 20-30 miles until the plane entered cloud for 30 sec and emerged to find the objects had gone. No contrails, smoke or noise. There were no GCA (air traffic control) or GCI (military interception control) radar contacts, and flight checks confirmed no other traffic was in the area.
* ATIC - Air Technical Intelligence Center
Comment - From the above it appears that the objects kept station with the aircraft. At first sight this seems inconsistent with an ambiguous statement on the ATIC Project Record Card that the objects "changed course", but this evidently refers to a comment in the telex (barely legible) which reads in part "OBJECTS APPEARED CHANGE POS W/I FORMATION" presumably meaning that the several objects changed position relative to one another while the average position of the group remained constant.
The sighting occurred two months after the very similar 1954 Labrador sighting in the same part of the world, but in this case the objects were not silhouetted against the sunset. The bearing was estimated at approximately 2:30 o'clock from a heading of 267° magnetic, thus approximately 345° magnetic. The local magnetic deviation at 60° N, 43° W in August 1954 was approximately 36°, that is to say magnetic north was 36° west of true north, so the azimuth of the objects was 345 - 36 = 309° True, or roughly NW. The sun at the sighting time was at approximately 40° elevation at 166° True, therefore almost exactly diametrically opposite the objects in the sky.