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 Case summary

The following much publicized Scandinavian case unfolded when on April 11, 1975, Danish police officer K.K. paid a visit to his regular photo shop in the city of Viborg. In the shop he was shown a most peculiar photograph. The photo, taken by another customer, depicted what appeared to be some kind of unknown aircraft silhouetted against a blue-green morning sky. Intrigued by this unusual photo, K.K. asked the shop owner if he could have the name and address of its author. The latter turned out to be a well-known local business man. Four days later the men met. An interview was conducted and a police report forwarded to the Chief of Aviation of the Tactical Flight Squadron in Karup, just southwest of Viborg. A copy went to the Danish Police Intelligence Agency.

Below is a translation of the original Danish text of the report.

The interviewee informs me that on Sunday November 17, at approximately 9 a.m., he went for a walk on the eastern bank of lake Nørre Sø in Viborg. He was alone.

The temperature was approximately 5 degrees Celsius and the weather was clear with a light haze over the lake.

He had brought his dog along and a camera loaded with a colour film, frame size 24x36 mm.

He says he is a nature lover and likes to watch and study the birdlife around the lake. The reason he went for a walk that day was to photograph some of the birds. The interviewee emphasizes that he possesses good observation skills and is capable of spotting everything that moves.

All of a sudden he noticed an aerial craft above the western bank of the lake. He grabbed his camera and took a photograph of the craft as it hovered in the air. After taking the picture he looked hastily around to see if he could draw someone else's attention to the craft, hoping for confirmation, but there was no one around. When he turned to face the craft again, it was gone.

The interviewee estimates he was about 500-1,000 metres away from the craft. The craft was silent and didn't give any physical discomfort.

He is interested in finding out what he saw and promptly handed me the prints and the negatives, pointing out that he is much too busy to pursue the matter himself.

I sent the negatives to the Central Bureau for Colour Photography, a branch of the Police Force in Copenhagen. All the materials were classified confidential. I requested enlargements and contour enhanced details of the craft. Once this was done, all the documents were returned to me.

The photograph shows a circular craft which, based on a rough estimate, could be approximately 20 m in diameter or a lot more. The shape is distinctly aerodynamic and reminds me of the shape of aerodynamic spaceships such as the Boeing X-20 Dyna Soar. The shadows on the craft strongly indicate rounded shapes, probably to deal with high speed without any danger of partial burning.
the Viborg phenomenon

The photo of the unidentified phenomenon over Viborg.
[© SUFOI Picture Library - photo shown with permission]

Before we go on, four notes regarding the report drafted by K.K.:

1. Although his identity was exposed in several publications, the witness asked that his name not be mentioned in connection with the photograph.

2. Investigation revealed that the unidentified object was above the eastern bank of the lake, not above the western bank.

3. According to weather data retrieved from the meteorological station in Karup, the wind was blowing from the southwest with a speed of 10 m/sec or 20 knots (fresh breeze).

4. The Boeing X-20 Dyna Soar, mentioned by K.K., was a military program for a space plane of triangular configuration. A predecessor of the Space Shuttle and not specifically aerodynamic in shape. The program ran from 1957 till 1963. It was cancelled just after construction had begun.

In September 1978, K.K. submitted the negative of the photo to Hans C. PETERSEN, a retired major in the Danish Air Force and head of a UFO group called IGAP [1]. Four months later the group published the outcome of an analysis conducted by a Hungarian correspondent, the late Colman S. VONKEVICZKY.

VONKEVICZKY, a major himself and later promoted to colonel, had been involved with UFO research since the 1960s. He served as a photo technician at the UN Secretariat in New York for two years, held a master's degree in military science and engineering and was a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Apart from that, VONKEVICZKY was also the Director of the Intercontinental Galactic Spacecraft - UFO - Research and Analytic Network (ICUFON). His greatest concern was "to get the figures of power and authority in governments to recognize that UFO's represent an intergalactic task force that will destroy earth unless world leaders band together to end their hostile actions against UFOs". Under the headline "The Spaceship", VONKEVICZKY summarized his findings as follows:

The hovering object is a craft without visible propulsion and control surfaces in comparison with ordinary aircraft constructed from earthly aviation science and technology.

On the other hand the craft is of the known disk type with a strongly emphasised dark perimeter. It's hovering approx. 100 m above the ground, 30 degrees over the horizon and is illuminated by the sun from a 4 o'clock position in a south-southeast direction. The shadow side of the craft reveals pretty clearly a solid, metallic object with a moderate built-up dome structure and with a ring developing a cloud of mist. [2]

Germany’s well-know author of bestsellers on UFOs and religious mysteries, Michael HESEMANN, further informs us that :

The vaporizing effect is explained by scientists as being the result of the surface of the UFO being cooler than -180 degrees Celsius. Because of that, the surrounding air becomes liquid and flows toward the Earth, which gives the object its jellyfish-like appearance. [3]

IGAP and ICUFON were not the only specialized organisations that showed an interest in the Viborg photo. As early as 1976, the negative of the photo had found its way to the Danish UFO research group SUFOI [4].

SUFOI established that the photographer had used a 35 mm Kodak Kodacolor 2 film and that the unidentified phenomenon appeared only on negative number 2 and not on the preceding and succeeding frames of the negative strip.

In the Summer of 1978, the group also got hold of a copy of the original police report drafted by K.K. in 1975. Since the report mentions the exact location from where the photo was taken, the idea was raised that someone should visit the sighting location in the company of the witness. K.K., who had met the witness before, was considered the right man for the job. A new meeting was fixed, and on June 28, 1978 the two men visited the site. During the conversation that followed, the witness told K.K. that the object had probably been much larger than 20 m (66 feet) in diameter and that it had appeared to him as if it had sucked up the mist above the lake.

In 1980, SUFOI sent the original negative along with a print of the photo to Ground Saucer Watch (GSW), a U.S. group, which in those days enjoyed a good reputation for its (then) sophisticated computer analyses of UFO photos. This is what GSW had to say about the Viborg photo :

  • The unidentified phenomenon was at a considerable distance from the witness/camera.
  • Digital measuring of the grey tone values in the individual photo elements revealed that there was no form of structure in the cloud.
  • If the camera was equipped with a standard 50 mm lens which is common for a 35 mm camera, then the field of vision would be 46 degrees. The unidentified phenomenon is approximately 4.5 degrees in its area.
  • The shadows on the unidentified phenomenon indicate that the Sun was low.
  • There is no structure to the dark ring in the middle of the unidentified phenomenon, neither is there any form of solid object in the mist/cloud.
The GSW report ended with the remark that the unidentified object "could be a special kind of cumulus cloud".

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