I would like to express my gratitude to many who assisted over the years in producing this work. Dr. Mark Rodeghier (CUFOS), who brought the case to our attention; Jan Aldrich (Project 1947); and Colm Kelleher (NIDS) who kindly assisted with transcriptions during the early stages of the research. Especially to Jim Klotz (CUFON), whose assistance and expertise with historical documentation were instrumental in completing the research. In addition, the archivists at the National Archives and Record Administration; Air Force Historical Research Agency; State Historical Society of North Dakota, Historical Research Library; and the Minot AFB History Office.
I am especially grateful to William McNeff for preserving the original first-generation B-52 radarscope photographs and availing them for analysis and presentation. Brad Sparks and Dr. Richard Haines (NARCAP) contributed preliminary analyses of the photographs, which require knowledge in various areas and a multi-disciplinary approach. I am beholden to Martin Shough for his expertise, and Dr. Claude Poher for his thought-provoking mind.
The research produced a considerable amount of material and presenting it was a challenge. Many individuals assisted along the way that include, Hedberg Maps, Prof. Susanne Jones, Steven Ray, and Joseph Lunders.
Thanks in partucular to the many witnesses who have given their time and experience. It is a truly fascinating story at a remarkable time in our history, and I hope I have done some justice to the experience. Thank you for your patience and allowing me an opportunity to learn throughout the process.
Earthrise, 24 December 1968
“On 24 December 1968 the first images showing the earth as a whole appeared on countless television screens, beamed down by the crew of the Apollo 8 spacecraft. For millions of people this event marked the opening of a new chapter in the history of human consciousness. The pictures showed Earth, with its familiar continents, oceans, and cloud formations, rising over the moon's horizon and then floating in space. For the first time we saw the planet as a whole, as a celestial body, from a vantage point outside it, and this meant that we saw ourselves, too, from outside. This new view of the Earth gave fresh impetus to the conservation movement, but that was not all. Through telescopic observations and photography, we had long been familiar with the other planets; now the Earth, seen from a new viewpoint, looked essentially similar. Of all the achievements of that momentous mission, it was this image, and its implications, that came as the most startling revelation.”
Karl S. Guthke, The Last Frontier