V i s i t o r   r e s p o n s e s 

R e :   T h e   B O A C   L a b r a d o r   s i g h t i n g   o f   J u n e   2 9,   1 9 5 4
 Received : 11/21/09  Dr. David CLARKE   

Martin's report is a model of how retrospective 'cold case' investigation should be conducted and how, in some cases this can lead some hitherto unexplained UFOs to become IFOs....  read more 

 Received : 11/23/09  Don LEDGER   

High altitude balloons of that day were not of the size and volume of those sent aloft in the present.....  read more 

 Received : 11/23/09  Jenny RANDLES   

This is indeed a splendid case history and exactly the way forward for future research into specific high strangeness cases.....  read more 

 Received : 11/24/09  Graham HUBBARD   

An intriguing report, but what I found really astonishing is that apparently not one of the fifty-odd people and crew on board had a camera with them!?.....  read more 

 Received : 11/24/09  Jenny RANDLES   

I actually addressed this point in Something in the Air [see Jenny's message of 11/23/09 - WVU] as it was one of the things we asked the air crew about when we did our interviews in the mid 90s because it occurred to me as a worthy question.

The answers we got and the conclusions I derived from them pretty well concur with your thoughts.

I quote:

As was common in those early days of commercial air travel the passengers (there were only 29 of them - JR) were not tourists but businessmen and this explains why none were eagerly filming the phenomenon through windows as many no doubt would be doing today.

Stewardess Daphne O'REILLY (ne WEBSTER) told us that most of the passengers on the port side were viewing the thing and asking her what it was from very early. She had no answers and went to the cockpit to try to get them an answer. Indeed it was the stir by the passengers viewing it that first caused her to look and see it for herself. Some light hearted comments about Martians had developed by this stage as so she decided to act but the crew were as mystified as the passengers.

The navigator (McDONNELL) DID recall that one passenger subsequently said he had taken movie film of the event but James HOWARD told us he seriously doubted this had occurred as the footage would, he felt, have surfaced during the then intervening 40 years.

However, given how the matter was investigated in the immediate aftermath it is worth pondering whether such evidence would have been retained by any passenger.

Remember this was a UK flight over Canadian territory and landing now in Canada but as they landed they were greeted by several people who introduced themselves as intelligence officers with the USAF. Although they briefly spoke with all the crew they quickly separated the captain (HOWARD) and the first officer (BOYD) and took them to a debriefing room.

McDONNELL told us that there were both USAF and Canadian personnel leading the two men away and after they were returned to the group HOWARD and BOYD were pretty circumspect about discussing the matter further. Although they did confirm they had been given a 'grilling'.

Howard was not unwilling to tell us about the debriefing. He said the USAF were fairly blasé about the matter suggesting these sort of things occurred pretty regularly and advised that there had been several recent sightings in the same area,

Of course, you need to square such matter of fact commonplaceness with the response by the USAF.

McDONNELL added that as he waited during the debriefing of HOWARD and BOYD USAF intelligence officers came and took away his flight logs and he was a bit unsure over jurisdiction but complied. He had never known this to happen before or since in any other flight whilst he was with BOAC.

Meantime, as the above occurred, chief flight attendant Daphne O'REILLY (WEBSTER) was asked to serve as a go between with the passengers and the USAF. They were told nothing specific about the events or why US Air force personnel were investigating. She advised about the USAF; "They glossed it over with the passengers". She and the other crew not being debriefed also had to help fill in a "long questionnaire",

So there might be speculation that at some point in this fairly lengthy USAF investigation immediately after the event IF there was a passenger that had taken film then it might have been procured by the USAF. Although the lack of interest in the passengers by the USAF mitigates against that.

Howard told us that he found it strange that the USAF were on hand to follow up so rapidly and he suspected that the lengthy holding pattern they were put in just prior to the sighting (somewhere south of Boston) might be relevant.

This was very unusual at the time when there was little traffic and flights had their routes set out very meticulously and such a long delay was serious to their flight schedule.

Later, after the publicity for the case, HOWARD had been contacted by a doctor who was camping with his wife in the same area of Massachussetts that Seirra Charlie had been prevented from flying into during the hold. They had both seen a phenomenon akin to the one the air crew described and making a humming/buzzing noise.

On landing at London the next day (quite late due to the extended layover for the USAF investigation) Howard alone was called to the Air Ministry for a UK debriefing , He had spent much of the Atlantic crossing compiling notes and sketches.

Although when they next flew together some weeks later to India McDONNELL asked HOWARD what the Air Ministry had said about the Goose Bay matter he had reportedly replied "You know the score".

However, all three confirmed that they had been put under no pressure from BOAC not to talk.


 Received : 11/24/09  Peter BROOKESMITH   

For what it's worth, Charles BOWEN's account of the case in The Unexplained had it that there was only one passenger on board with a camera handy.....  read more 

 Received : 12/09/09  Joel CARPENTER   

Brilliant, brilliant work on the case! I can't tell you how much I admire that kind of research thoroughness.....  read more 

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