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 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.....  read more 

 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. I don't know if you are interested, but there's a photo of the Centaurus in the Flight International files: .

In thinking about the solution, I wondered -- could it be possible that what was seen was actually the 'shadows' of distant clouds projected toward the airliner and distorted by mirages? (


[Joel CARPENTER is a long-time American researcher with a special interest in photographic and historical aspects of UAP reports. As an avid collector of documentation and photographs on aircraft, spacecraft and missiles, Joel developed a particular interest in the relationship between post WW II experimental aerospace projects and the 'UFO' phenomenon. He holds degrees in history and industrial design and is the author of In the Dark : Secret Weapons, UFOs and the USAF published by Tab Books (Blue Ridge Summit, PA, 1995).]

Our reply (Martin SHOUGH + Wim VAN UTRECHT)

Many thanks! Much appreciated. And the Flight article is fascinating, a real insight into the practicalities of aviation in those days - like the half-joke about providing umbrellas for the crew because "as with all airliners" it rains in the cockpit when frozen condensation thaws during descent! Great stuff and some nice photos.

Actually we found photos of the very plane, G-ALSC Centaurus, and of the cockpit interior of a Stratocruiser (see examples below).

Stratocruiser-cockpit Top: 'G-ALSC Centaurus' at Heathrow in the late 40s.

Left: Stratocruiser cockpit interior.

[Images borrowed from]

As for the interesting cloud shadows idea: I don't think so because shadows of remote clouds projected on (presumably) an intervening haze could not have the optical contrast required. The target clouds in the mirage theory must be circa 400 miles away to keep relative afterward displacement (relative to the plane) down to an acceptable small figure.

The same would apply to projected cloud shadows: the haze on which the target shadow image is being projected must itself be this far away. (In fact the parallax problem is slightly worsened because as the sun sets it is moving somewhat North below the horizon - to the right - in the same sense as the aircraft and therefore tending if anything to throw cloud shadows increasingly towards the left.) I think cloud silhouettes are a better fit in this case.


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